THE SUIT TO TRAVEL IN: AN INTERVIEW WITH PAUL SMITH



Work, life, travel – today, the suit has to work harder than ever to keep up with the modern demands of everyday life. But what if there was a suit so smart that flexibility, breathability and versatility were woven into its very fabric? A suit that could tackle the commute to work, sail through a full day of meetings and head out in the evening still looking as fresh as it did when you first took it off the hanger that morning.

Crafted from 100% high-twist worsted wool with remarkable crease recovery and natural temperature regulation, Paul Smith’s A Suit To Travel In does just this. More than that, it typifies Paul Smith’s desire to create clothing that really works.

Read on to learn how Britian’s foremost designer is on a mission to create clothing that stands up to the demands of everyday life and find out how a lifelong love of cycling has driven Paul’s appreciation of clothing that performs.

How do you create clothes that keep up with the demands of today’s modern man?

What I’ve always tried to do with my designs is create clothes that are made to be worn, used and loved, not clothes that need an instruction manual to put on or just sit on a hanger forever. Clothes for the modern man who is always on the go and wants great kit that looks good, but can also work with the way we all live our lives today.

How did A Suit To Travel In become such a core part of your work?

I’m on the go constantly and often have to run straight from a plane or train to television interviews or stand-up in front of an audience and give a talk. I wear a suit pretty much every day and so realised the importance of having a suit that still looked fresh after travelling. That’s what prompted me to develop A Suit To Travel In. It’s 100% wool, naturally breathable and has crease-resistant qualities. Hopefully it’s the perfect suit to travel in!

What are your tips for styling the suit?

When it comes to suits you have to feel comfortable. I wear a suit more or less every day but often in quite a casual way. I often wear a plain T-shirt, a chambray shirt and white leather trainers with mine for example. A Suit To Travel In offers the ultimate versatility; it can be worn casually with a T-shirt and trainers or more formally with a crisp white shirt and tie.

We know you’re a big fan of cycling, how has the sport influenced your design work?

I’ve loved cycling since I was a young lad growing up in rural England in Nottingham. I had a pretty bad crash as a teenager, which ended my dreams of becoming a professional sadly, but luckily I found my feet in fashion. I still cycle regularly and so I understand the importance of being able to move in clothes. I designed the winners’ jerseys for the Giro d’Italia a few years ago and it was fascinating to me how much attention you have to place on the tiniest of details on the product.

How are the worlds of fashion and cycling coming together today?

Cycling has grown in popularity enormously in recent years, particularly in urban areas like London. A key factor that has certainly played a part in that boom is the leap forward in the quality of specialist equipment and clothing available now. There’s been huge developments in urban cycling clothing – it looks good but it’s also functional; waterproof, windproof and practical. I would never claim to design sportswear but lots of our clothing has sportswear characteristics and with Paul Smith pieces, they look as great as they perform.

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