Paul Smith’s new capsule collection for Mr. Porter was inspired by the cover artwork of Bob Dylan’s second album.
The sleeve of 1963’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan shows the iconic singer walking through New York in winter with his then girlfriend Suze Rotolo. Paul first saw it as a 16-year-old, and the image has stuck with him ever since.
“The image from the album cover really captures that,” Paul explained to Mr. Porter. “His way of wearing a suede jacket, jeans and a very everyday shirt just seemed so… effortless.”
There’s another ‘60s icon also had great influence on the collection; U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Again it’s a still photo that British clothesmaker Paul turned to for inspiration, this time showing the American leader with his wife Jackie, taken in 1962 as the pair watched the first of that year’s America’s Cup (yacht) races.
Wearing a pretty basic outfit of white Oxford shirt, navy blue sweater and grey trousers, Paul was drawn to the less obvious details of the look, like the pair of hooped athletic socks he wore with formal shoes.
“He just got it right so consistently,” the designer smiled. “He’d wear tennis shoes with chino pants and colourful sweaters, all while holding one of the most powerful positions in the world.”
The new capsule collection, modelled by Mick Jagger lookalike Oli Burslem from British band Yak, includes polo shirts, slim suit trousers and suede jackets. There are also shoes, underwear and bags on offer, all of which are live now.