MINI's decade long relationship with Europe's Life Ball, a HIV/AIDS fundraiser has turned out quite a catalog of special edition cars, all of which have been auctioned off for the cause of finding a cure. While past versions have involved names like Diesel, Calvin Klein and Versace, this year's collabo goes north of our border to Canada, enlisting the creative forces of Dean and Dan Caten of DSQUARED².

Though the event is still almost a month away, renderings of the Cooper S-based creation have been made official. With a beefed-up, more rugged look, the concept plays off MINIs recent rally involvement, with a tip of the hat to America's hat. No explanation can be given for the raccoons, but check the press release for more details and stay tuned for pictures of the real thing.

 

Press Release:

A rocking MINI by DSQUARED² for the 2011 Life Ball. Initial sketches of the Charity MINI are presented in Vienna.

Munich/Vienna. Dean and Dan Caten, better known as the designer duo DSQUARED², yesterday presented the initial sketches of the MINI they have designed exclusively for the 2011 Life Ball. Three weeks before the grand unveiling of this one-off model on 21 May, the Canadian twins are granting a first preview of what this absolute MINI must-have for men will look like. Since 2001, a MINI created by world-renowned designers has been a pivotal element of the Life Ball. This year, carmaker MINI is supporting Europe's biggest AIDS charity event for the 11th time. Each year a legendary one-off MINI is produced for the Life Ball, the proceeds of which go to projects combating HIV/AIDS.

Dean and Dan have been dedicated fans of the MINI brand for some time. In April 2010 – freely based on the motto "Time to pack my... MINI Countryman" – they kitted out the latest MINI model with their selection of essential travel accoutrements for the perfect get-away. The brothers have long cherished a desire to design a MINI Cooper S in their very own style. Dean and Dan are thrilled with the assignment: "If we were a car, it would be rugged and robust. Our MINI 'Red Mudder' is an accurate reflection of that. With the maple leaf on both doors and the DSQUARED² logo on the front shield and wheels, this is unmistakably our style." In recent years, designers such as Agent Provocateur, Donatella Versace, Diesel, Missoni and Gianfranco Ferré have stepped up to the drawing board and designed a MINI for the Life Ball. The 19th Life Ball will be held in Vienna on 21 May and, as ever, will draw in celebrities from around the globe.

The social commitment of the BMW Group.

Worldwide measures to combat HIV/AIDS are one of the main elements of the corporate and social policy pursued by the BMW Group. The company's involvement in South Africa is particularly wide-ranging, covering a comprehensive workplace programme for employees and their families, plus a number of different projects in the local communities and further afield. The carmaker is also committed to fighting this pandemic in other affected countries, such as Thailand or China. Membership of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GBC) underlines its long-term commitment at its various locations.

Timeline of the Life Ball MINI.

2001 – camouflaged MINI, as event precedes market launc

2002 – Charity MINI
With autographs from German/Austrian and international celebrities (e.g. Elton John, No Angels, Heidi Klum, Emma Sjöberg, Mavie Hörbiger)

2003 – MINI designed by Missoni
MINI Hatch by Angela Missoni

2004 – MINI designed by Ferré
MINI Convertible by Gianfranco Ferré

2005 – MINI designed by Versace
MINI Convertible by Donatella Versace

2006 – MINI designed by Diesel
MINI Convertible by Diesel / Renzo Rosso

2007 – MINI designed by Testino
MINI Hatch by star photographer Mario Testino

2008 – MINI designed by Agent Provocateur
MINI Clubman by Agent Provocateur / Joseph Corré

2009 – MINI designed by The Blonds
MINI Convertible by The Blonds for Katy Perry

2010 – MINI designed by Diane von Furstenberg, Kenneth Cole and Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein Collection
MINI Hatch by Diane von Furstenberg
MINI Convertible by Kenneth Cole
MINI Countryman by Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein Collection

2011 – MINI designed by DSQUARED²
MINI Hatch by Dean and Dan Caten

Life Ball 2011.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the discovery of the HI virus in 1981. Over these 30 years, major progress has been made in the field of research and prevention. Notwithstanding these advances, HIV remains a significant challenge to health and development policy in many countries. Millions of people are infected with HIV every year. The Life Ball has made it its mission to draw attention to this and to campaign for tolerance, enlightenment and solidarity.

DSQUARED².

An intelligent mix of ambition, tailoring art and a maniacal eye for details are the founding qualities of the DSQUARED² philosophy, which has given a new life and alternative to the concept of luxury. The Canadian twins Dean and Dan Caten launched their first prêt-à-porter collection in 1995, obtaining, from the beginning, an enormous success amongst the press and big international celebrities such as Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera and David Beckham. In addition, the brand proudly collaborates with the world of sports: after the three-year collaboration with Juventus, for the last two years the new off field uniforms for Barcelona FC have been signed DSQUARED². The brand has also received numerous tributes and recognitions in Canada and beyond. Last September Dean and Dan Caten marked their star on Canada's prestigious Walk of Fame in Toronto, and for the occasion of the Winter 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, the twins were nominated Headline Talent Costume Designers for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Recently, the twins have also made their debut in the media world: they have been presenters for Launch my Line – a reality show centred around the fashion world and broadcast by the American TV station Bravo TV. In addition to this they have been speakers for Sirius XM Radio. The DSQUARED² team personally designs the men's, women's, accessory, eyewear and fragrances collections. DSQUARED² currently has mono-brand stores in Milan, Capri, Kiev, Hong Kong, Cannes, Dubai, Singapore, Monte Carlo, Athens, Thessaloniki, Shanghai and Beijing.