&PaulSmith Launches Collaboration and Mentorship Programme With Ahluwalia

London-based label Ahluwalia has launched a new collaboration with &PaulSmith, a new mentorship and collaboration programme launched by legendary British designer Paul Smith. The project with Ahluwalia is the inaugural collaboration from &PaulSmith, and builds on the friendship between Smith and rising star Priya Ahluwalia.

Inspiration for the 11-piece collection came from a wide range of sources, including Ahluwalia’s archive of photographs taken in Nigeria and India, Smith’s love of sport and vintage cycling paraphernalia, as well as the work of graphic designer Ikko Tanaka and multidisciplinerary artist Ernesto Cánovas.

Other influences come from the signature work of each designer. Paul Smith’s distinctive check fabrics are used alongside Ahluwalia’s seaming and panelling techniques, while the duo’s shared focus on sustainability runs throughout the collection. Materials include 100% organic cotton and yarns, bioegradable LENZING ECOVER viscose and surplus jersey.

Launching the collaboration, Paul Smith said:

“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.”

Priya Ahluwalia also discussed the collection, saying:

“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 full Ahluwalia x &PaulSmith collection is available now from the Paul Smith web store, Ahluwalia web store and select stockists.

For more from Priya Ahluwalia, read about her love for the adidas Originals Superstar.
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