Last Saturday night before the Press Days began for the 2008 edition of the Detroit Auto Show, the 2nd annual GM Style event took place in a huge tent set up in a parking lot near the Renaissance Center headquarters of General Motors. Like last year's event, this runway show featured cars and fashions, but the feel of it was a bit different this year. This time last year, GM had yet to make its big design comeback breakthrough, for instance. Also, the cars were almost secondary to the celebrities last January. This time around, a year after the CTS, Malibu and Volt debuted in the days following the first GM Style event, the red carpet was gone and the fashions were worn by anonymous models, with musical accompaniment from Mary J Blige, Maroon 5 and Kid Rock. For 2008, the cars were the real stars. The automotive lineup was bookended by the oldest and newest Corvettes with a group of contemporary models in between. BTW, the tall gentleman in the front row who's white brimmed hat keeps popping up at the bottom of the pics? Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
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Kid Rock Flexes Detroit Muscle at GM Style
Exclusive pre-NAIAS celebration also features E85 Hot Rod, Chevrolet Camaro convertible concepts, fashions by Made in Detroit and William Rast, and jewelry by Colette Steckel
DETROIT – "Detroit Cowboy" Kid Rock, all-around brash boy and considered by many to be the contemporary embodiment of rock and roll, brings Detroit style to GM Style, a celebration of cars, music and fashion. The Jan. 12 event leads up to the North American International Auto Show.
Kid Rock joins previously announced performers Mary J. Blige, DJ Samantha Ronson and Maroon 5.
GM also announced that the E85 Hot Rod and Chevrolet Camaro convertible concepts will hit the GM Style runway. The E85 Hot Rod was first introduced at the SEMA show in November, while the Camaro convertible was the finale introduction at last year's event.
In addition to performing, Kid Rock offers the shirt off his back – literally – when his Made in Detroit line of shirts, jackets and hats is modeled, in addition to stylish denim by William Rast, the brainchild of Memphis-born recording artist Justin Timberlake and designer Trace Ayala, childhood best friends. Models also will be wearing luxurious jewelry by Colette Steckel, one of Mexico's leading jewelry designers. All the GM Style vehicles, fashions and accessories will be introduced in a fast-pace show set to music.
"High energy and passion are in every element of GM Style, from the vehicles to the performances to the fashions," said Ed Welburn, GM vice president, Global Design. "People will be talking about this event for some time to come."
Kid Rock's GM Style performance is on the heels of his annual Christmas trip to the Middle East to entertain U.S. soldiers. An international superstar with hometown sensibilities, his recently released album, "Rock 'N Roll Jesus," debuted at the top of Billboard's album chart.
True to his Detroit-area roots, Kid Rock is also a dedicated muscle car enthusiast.
Under Kid Rock's ownership, the Made in Detroit clothing company again features the expressive graphics of Gary Arnett, creator of the original logo (a man dressed in work clothes holding a wrench). One T-shirt, for example, spells the word "Detroit" in a gearshift pattern.
William Rast denim infuses the soul of authentic southern heritage with the energy of contemporary Hollywood. After its debut in Los Angeles last year, it quickly became popular with young Hollywood stars and was soon flying off the racks of major department stores such as Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus. (The name William Rast was created by marrying the first and last name of Timberlake's and Ayala's grandfathers.)
Colette Steckel, one of Mexico's leading jewelry designers, will also be featured in the show. Her luxurious line of jewelry – called Colette – incorporates 24-karat yellow gold and precious and semi-precious stones. Her pieces have been previously exhibited at Latin America's most prestigious gallery, Casa Lamm, in Mexico City, and have graced the pages of all national fashion magazines.
The cars are jewels in their own right: With a 500-horsepower engine, a channeled body, a chopped top and a basic black paint scheme, the Chevy E85 Hot Rod looks right at home on the salt flats of Bonneville. But instead of a traditional gasoline V-8, this '34 Chevy replica rod sports a turbocharged 2.0L Ecotec engine that runs on E85 ethanol, highlighting Chevrolet's commitment to fuel solutions.
The Camaro convertible concept, wrapped in Hugger Orange pearl tri-coat paint with twin gunmetal gray sport stripes, instantly evokes an emotional response, and it was the star of the 2007 GM Style event.
GM Style will be held in a football field-size, climate-controlled pavilion on the Detroit River, just east of GM's Global Headquarters at the Renaissance Center, and will be simulcast on gm.com. In addition to kicking off the world's largest auto show, which opens to the media the following day, GM Style kicks off a series of activities, called GMnext, leading up to the start of GM's next 100 years. The corporation turns 100 on Sept. 16, 2008.