Paul Smith debuts collaboration and mentorship program with Ahluwalia collab
Paul Smith has launched an inaugural collaboration and mentorship program via an capsule collection with the happening London-based menswear brand Ahluwalia, founded by Priya Ahluwalia.
Supported by the Paul Smith Foundation, and tagged under the &PaulSmith collab division, the program is designed to offer a fresh and authentic approach to creative partnerships with emerging and untapped talent, in a mentorship programs that nurture next generation designers.
Building on a long-standing friendship between Priya and Paul, the Ahluwalia &Paul Smith collection is an 11-piece limited-edition collection where two distinct creative minds meet.
“I had the pleasure of being introduced to Priya through a mutual friend and our shared approach to design was obvious from our first meeting. Her maverick spirit reminded me of myself when I was just starting out. While our styles may appear different at first glance, we’re coming at it from the same place: a real conviction that clothes should be a source of joy. This collaborative collection is proof of that,” said Sir Paul.
The collection is a fashionable encounter of each designer's DNA: Smith’s bold check fabrics mixed with Ahluwalia’s seaming and paneling techniques. Collage creations that echoed the bright hues of imagery India and Nigeria, culled from Priya’s personal photo archive. While Paul’s love of sport is represented by references to vintage cycling paraphernalia. All mashed up with art from Studio One Records, images by graphic designer Ikko Tanaka and works by multidisciplinary artist Ernesto Cánovas.
Channeling sustainability, the collection utilizes surplus fabrics found in the Paul Smith archive, and new sustainable alternatives - 100% organic cotton and yarns, biodegradable Lenzing Ecovero viscose and surplus jersey. Prices vary from a €340 short-sleeve cotton photo patchwork shirt to a €625 jacquard cotton cardigan featuring elephants and rickshaws.
“This collaboration is so special to me as it was born out of friendship and curiosity. A while back, Paul so kindly invited me to come and meet him and learn about how he works, and I was blown away by him and his treasure trove of an office. The collaboration conversation happened naturally, and it has been such a pleasure to work with Paul and the Paul Smith team. They have been so supportive, and I have learnt a great deal from them. The collection is a perfect mix of Paul Smith and Ahluwalia codes,” said Priya.
Ahluwalia, an LVMH Prize 2020 finalist, blends her Indian-Nigerian heritage with her London roots, using vintage and surplus clothing often in one-of-a-kind pieces. Her creations retail in the likes of Matches Fashion, Browns, Bergdorf Goodman and Ssense.
Ahluwalia &PaulSmith is available online at paulsmith.com, in selected Paul Smith shops, at ahluwalia.world and exclusively at Ssense.
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