Smeg's FAB28 fridge is probably the coolest means of keeping your food cold ever invented. Its retro styling is somewhere between art deco and 50s American diner, and by serving up limited editions of it, Smeg has turned it into something of a pop art icon. The latest is a collaboration with Coca-Cola and draws on the brief portion of the early 70s when Coke was a beacon of love, peace and general grooviness, baby, yeah.
The limited edition 'Unity' fridge marks the 50th anniversary of the Coca-Cola ad where a bunch of bright-eyed hippies summoned the Age of Aquarius by singing things like 'I'd like to teach the world to sing' and 'I'd like to buy the world a Coke', whilst standing on a hilltop. Afterwards, they probably held a 'happening', or swingers party, or something.
The Unity fridge is just the latest in a proud line of pop art FAB28 fridge makeovers from Smeg, and one of the best. Scroll through. the gallery below to take a look at some splendid efforts from years gone by…
A lot of Coca-Cola's design these days is quite corporate and dull but the Smeg Unity fridge is bold, colourful and really far out, man. There's psychedelic fonts, acid colours and the word 'Love'. Smeg says that the design 'showcases Smeg’s signature retro style and high-quality design, as well as celebrating Coca-Cola’s enduring influence on popular culture since the ground-breaking impact of its Harmony commercial in 1971.'
You could reasonably say that the styling is more 60s than 70s but then, to be fair, 1971 was not that long after the 60s. It's the first kitchen appliance I can think of to be inspired by an advert.
There will only be 25 of these fridges made, and each one comes with an engraved plaque bearing its unique number.
Appropriately, Smeg has not gone overboard with futuristic features in its retro fridge. The interior features glass shelves that are removable to 'maximise and utilise the space to your individual needs.' A Life Plus compartment adds extra longevity to perishable foods, and there's also a fruit and vegetable drawer and an icebox for all your ice cube needs. A multi-flow cooling system 'ensures the ideal temperature and humidity for food storage.' The overall capacity is a whopping 270 litres.
The Unity fridge is the most over-the-top Smeg collab since it teamed up with the fashion house of Dolce and Gabanna to make fridges and other kitchen appliances painted with everything from lemons to medieval battle scenes by Sicilian artists. The D&G fridges are actually quite reminiscent of this Dolce & Gabanna panetonne box that I found in my local deli the other day.
As you can see from the gallery up top, Smeg has also made fridges to celebrate Mickey Mouse, Charlie Brown and the Fiat 500 – the latter costing nearly £10,000, which is about what an actual Fiat 500 would have cost you back in the day, once you factor in repairs.
The Unity fridge is part of an entire collection of Coca-Cola collabs, that it's calling the 1971 Unity Collection. Also available are Popsocket wallets, Timex watches and a range of apparel. Kate Dwyer, Senior Director of Global Licensing for Coca-Cola, stood on a hilltop and trilled out, “These new collections showcase the timeless values of peace, inclusiveness, diversity and optimism."
Here's the original Hilltop ad that inspired the 1971 Unity Collection. They don't make 'em like that anymore.
Smeg Unity fridge: price and availability
The special edition Unity fridge will be exclusively available in Smeg’s UK flagship store in London St James and worldwide at shop.smeguk.com, where only 25 will be available. The price? A cool £2,399/$3,200/AU$4,400.