AHLUWALIA & PAUL SMITH: THE BRITISH DESIGNER PARTNERS WITH AHLUWALIA ON AN EXCLUSIVE COLLECTION, SUPPORTED BY THE PAUL SMITH FOUNDATION
AHLUWALIA&PaulSmith launches its inaugural collaboration and mentorship programme with an innovative capsule collection in partnership with the celebrated London-based menswear brand Ahluwalia, founded by Priya Ahluwalia.
Supported by the Paul Smith Foundation, &PaulSmith offers a fresh and authentic approach to creative partnerships, concentrating on connecting with emerging and untapped talent in a collaborative mentorship programme to nurture the next generation of designers.
Building on the friendship that Priya and Paul have fostered over many seasons, the Ahluwalia &Paul Smith collection was a natural next step for the designers. Spurred by a shared passion for creativity, innovation and sustainability, the 11-piece limited-edition collection represents a meeting of two distinct creative minds.
Paul says: “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.”
Combining distinctive codes and signatures from each designer, from Paul Smith’s distinctive check fabrics and Ahluwalia’s seaming and panelling techniques, the results are a creating a rich collage-like effect.The vibrant colour palette takes its cue from Priya’s personal archive of photographs taken in Nigeria and India, while Paul’s love of sport is represented by references to vintage cycling paraphernalia.
Priya says: “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 and I look forward to it being released.” The duo found inspiration in references far and wide, from Paul’s collection of cycling jerseys to album cover art from Studio One Records, as well as the work of graphic designer IkkoTanaka and multidisciplinary artist Ernesto Cánovas.
With sustainability a key consideration for both designers, the collection utilises surplus Paul Smith fabrics found in the Paul Smith archive, as well as sustainable alternatives where new cloths were developed, which include 100% organic cotton and yarns, biodegradable LENZINGTM ECOVEROTM viscose and surplus jersey and woven fabrics.
Fundamentally, the collection is casual, using premium fabrics and finishes to elevate traditionally relaxed silhouettes and a purposeful meshing together of graphic influences, merging branding from both houses to one incorporated logo dedicated to the project.
Ahluwalia &PaulSmith will be available online at paulsmith.com, in selected Paul Smith shops, at ahluwalia.world and exclusively at SSENSE.