Amex puts McQueen in the black

American Express is set to launch a limited-edition version of its ultra-exclusive Centurion Card, designed by fashion designer Alexander McQueen.

The card, to be released in September, marking Centurion’s fifth anniversary, will be offered to up to 50 ‘style leaders’ and American Express customers who sign up for the black Amex card this year.

In return for a £650 annual fee, it will offer holders an unlimited balance and access to a 24-hour personalised lifestyle, travel and financial service.

‘What’s amazing about the [McQueen Special Edition] Centurion is that, on the face of it, it’s just a black payment card. But there’s much more to it than that,’ says American Express Europe director of public affairs Doug Smith, who is leading the project.

Its design, which features an X-ray image of a model’s leg, clad in an Alexander McQueen, thigh-high crystal boot, aims to reflect this ‘depth’. ‘We’re working with different paints and colour mixes now to give it a slight 3D effect,’ says Smith.

The McQueen Special Edition Centurion Card is the third collaboration between the financial services giant and the designer on a credit or charge card. Since entering into partnership with American Express in 1997, McQueen has also designed the Blue Card, billed as the world’s first designer credit card, and the goldleaf-flecked Gold Card, in 2001.

The special edition card will be unveiled next week at the Black event, which will feature a McQueen catwalk show and celebrity art auction. Proceeds will go to the Lighthouse services for people living with AIDS and HIV.

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