Fender has announced the arrival of its latest collaborative gear collection, this time designed in partnership with French fashion powerhouse, Yves Saint Laurent.
Comprising a specially styled Stratocaster, a custom ‘65 Deluxe Reverb guitar amp and a set of collectible guitar picks, the aptly titled Fender x Saint Laurent Limited Edition Collection is particularly eye-catching for a few key reasons.
First, it’s the latest in a growing line of Big F collections created with the help of high-profile apparel companies, with Fender’s recent Wrangler range signposting its commitment to cross-industry collaboration.
But for guitar fans, this drop is more memorable for the gear, and that Stratocaster in particular. Why? Well, it might just be one of the sleekest Fender guitars ever conceived. Just look at it.
Looking like some sort of Aerodyne Stratocaster from the future deployed on a covert operation – or a wild black panther stalking its prey – the guitar is the epitome of “sleek”, and offers up an aesthetic ocean of gloss black that swallows the entire instrument.
Behind its none-more-black facade, the Saint Laurent Strat is a standard Fender double-cut, dressing up an alder body, maple ‘60s Oval C-shape neck, and flat-laminated ebony fingerboard in a gloss black urethane jacket.
The color-matched headstock is joined by appropriately colored black vintage-style tuners, which in turn are joined in the hardware department by an ultra-luxurious vintage-style tremolo. A nondescript “Saint Laurent” print in silver can be found underneath the bridge.
An equally stealthy hardcase with a matching Saint Laurent badge accompanies the Strat, whose spec sheet also has room for a 9.5” radius, 21 medium jumbo frets, a trio of lipstick-covered ‘60s Fender single-coils and a standard Strat control layout.
Oh, and when we say “limited edition”, we really mean it: only 10 examples of the $12,500 model have been made. Admittedly, additional models can be made on request, but we imagine that would come at a pretty premium.
Of course, it’s that Saint Laurent association that gives it the five figure price tag, and while those not especially concerned with the world of fashion may be left scratching their heads over how an all-black Strat can be priced at almost $13,000, it’s clear that there are some who’ve been bowled over by the beauty. Indeed, and at the time of writing, there is only one left in stock.
It’s joined by a Saint Laurent ‘65 Deluxe Reverb, which, as you could probably guess, is a standard ‘65 Deluxe Reverb with a few luxurious aesthetic upgrades. These come in the form of a YSL logo, branded cover and sleek black grille cloth.
Again, the association with Saint Laurent has resulted in a sizable mark-up, with the YSL Deluxe Reverb weighing in at $3,000 – almost double the price of the standard version. If we’re being honest, we actually expected that to be higher.
And, as was the case with the Wrangler range, Fender has also released some Saint Laurent-branded celluloid guitar picks for those wanting to get in on the action without forking out for a guitar or amp.
At $32 for a set of six, the collection comprises two black, two white and two checkerboard picks, which are housed in a collector's tin.
Of Fender’s latest collaborative lineup, the brand’s Executive Vice President Justin Norvell said, “Saint Laurent is one of the most celebrated luxury brands in the world and an influential powerhouse in fashion culture.
“We are honored to partner with them to infuse iconic elements from both of our legacy roots in this beautiful ‘Limited Edition Saint Laurent’ collection.”