Could the friendly rivalry between France and Italy that permeates everything from style to football soon become a thing of the past? A recent collaboration between two iconic national brands, Vespa and Christian Dior, hints that it might. Or at least an amicable ceasefire. Coming in the spring of 2021, the limited edition Vespa 946 Christian Dior scooter combines the best of Italian heritage with French savoir faire. So if you’ve fancied yourself a modern day Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday, here’s your chance to complete the look.
As close as most of us will most likely get to a European summer holiday any time soon, the collaboration – formally known as the Vespa 946 Christian Dior – has a touch of fate or destiny about its creation. Shared principles of creating the kind of products that continually push the boundaries of aesthetic visions, both Vespa and Christian Dior share the same birthday. Or year, at least, with the Roman auto brand and French couturier both launching in 1946.
Then there is the manifestation of its making – the Vespa 946 Christian Dior was designed by the fashion house’s creative director of womenswear, Maria Grazia Chiuri, thus providing the perfect vehicle (pun intended) for the Roman designer to link her Italian heritage with Dior’s French sensibilities. In a statement to the press, Chiuri states she was “very excited about this project with Vespa. For me, Vespa is linked to my city, Rome. It’s linked to the freedom to move around the city with ease, like in the film Roman Holiday (1953), which has left that extraordinary image of Audrey Hepburn clinging to Gregory Peck on a Vespa forever etched in our collective memory. I have so many happy memories starring a Vespa. It’s how my husband and I used to get around Rome and go to the seaside in Fregene. It’s a symbol of Italian-ness that is intricately linked to my personal history, and it’s now part of my professional life at Dior.”
Retaining the iconic framework of the original Vespa 946, first released in 2012, the Dior Vespa is tricked out with a saddle decorated with the iconic Oblique pattern. On the back, a top case specially designed to attach to the luggage rails in the same Oblique motif. The architecture of the scooter is still that of the original 946, finished with the scooter’s patent colour palette of beige and gold. You can also protect your head in style with an accompanying helmet finished in the same Dior motif as the saddle and top case. The finished product is all so chouette you’ll need to update your wardrobe just to feel comfortable sitting on it.
At the heart of this trendy little beast is a single cylinder 125 cc 4 stroke, 3 valve, air cooled engine with electronic injection. What it lacks in sheer grunt makes up for with some serious zip that will make the ride to Bondi like you’re cruising along the Amalfi Coast. Just BYO grappa for the end of the ride.
The Vespa 946 Christian Dior will be available from Dior boutiques around the world, as well as select Piaggio dealerships, later this year. The accessories will only be available from Dior boutiques. As far as pricing, there’s yet to be an Australian dollar attached. But great style is essentially priceless, right?