G.M. Parades Cars, Musicians at Detroit Fashion Show

General Motors unofficially kicked off Detroit's North American International Auto Show with a fete that fused autos, fashion, and music.

By Courtney Thompson January 15, 2008, 5:25 PM EST

Mary J. Blige kicked off the event.

Photo: Courtesy of G.M.

General Motors continued its effort to delve into the glitzy worlds of fashion, music, and celebrity this past Saturday with G.M. Style, the company's second annual fashion auto show. Held the night before Detroit's North American International Auto Show, G.M. Style entertained some 1,800 guests (1,000 seated, 800 standing) with a 40-minute show that combined performances by Mary J. Blige, Maroon 5, Kid Rock, and Rev Run, with 19 cars and 138 outfits by seven labels (Justin Timberlake's William Rast line and Russell Simmons's Argyle Couture among them).

G.M. Style's first incarnation was celebrity-skewed, with names such as Jay-Z, Jennifer Hudson, and Carmen Electra walking the runway alongside a lineup of American-made cars. This year, however, G.M. recast the event because the Golden Globes were originally scheduled to take place the same weekend. Knowing it would be difficult to lure celebrities away from the Los Angeles swag-suite hoopla, Bryan Nesbitt, G.M.'s vice president of design for North America and second-in-command in planning the event, decided to focus on music instead.

“We were excited about looking at music as a way to communicate artistic expression, along with clothing designers,” Nesbitt told us last week. “We certainly wanted to do something different from last year. We wanted to keep it changing and a little unexpected.”

More than 30 models walked the runway, which, according to Nesbitt, was wider than the standard New York version because it had to make way for a car and a turntable. Local vendors included marketing and event firm Clear Blue Communications, which handled the event's creative development and production, and Forte Belanger, which took care of catering. New York-based Scharff Weisberg contributed to the lighting, and Hired Gun Publicity & Consulting handled PR. Detroit DJ Jacques filled in for celebrity DJ Samantha Ronson, who canceled at the last minute.

Though the celebrity wattage was considerably lower than last year's, some big names—including Nick Cannon, Adrian Brody, and Jeff Gordon—did make an appearance.

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