Sir Paul Smith lends artistry to Land Rover Defender

Article by Christian A., on March 25, 2015

Land Rover and Sir Paul Smith have collaborated to build a Land Rover Defender, which was recently unveiled at his shop at No. 9 Albemarle Street in Mayfair. Smith worked closely with Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) design team to create a distinct vehicle built entirely to his own specification.

Guided by Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s Design Director and Chief Creative Officer, Smith was able to create his own personal version of a global auto icon. The Paul Smith Defender features 27 different colors on its exterior panels, all chosen by the British designer.

He remarked that the colors were inspired by the British countryside and those historically seen on Defenders used by the Armed Forces. To achieve his preferred look, Smith provided the SVO team a set of Pantone color references that were mixed specially for the vehicle. He also collaborated with Land Rover to ensure that the interior really reflects what his wants.

Smith remarked that his heavily personalized Land Rover Defender is a complete one-off. He quipped that he wanted to give this Defender a feeling of luxury, so he used a mix of leather and fabric for the seats. He added that he used the fabric that he designed for Maharam.

Sir Smith’s Land Rover Defender features black leather contrasted by blue stitching. It also features a Paul Smith fascia, replacing the traditional Defender clock. He said that since his designs are known for their attention to detail, he didn’t want his Defender to be any different.

While the Land Rover Defender was endowed with Smith’s playful and personal touches, it still has its traditional elements, like the wing mirrors, door handles and wheels --- which were given a satin finish. This exclusive Paul Smith Defender is part of a year-long celebration of the famous Defender.

“The Defender is a British icon, which is something I’m exceptionally proud of,” Smith remarked.

Sir Paul Smith is a British fashion designer known for his designs for men's clothing. Born in 1946 in Nottingham, England, Smith opened his own shop called Paul Smith Vetement Pour Homme in his hometown in 1970.

Smith traveled to Paris 1976 to showcase his first men's collection, which featured a mix of casual and semi-formal wear. He opened his flagship London store on Floral Street in Covent Garden, London in in 1979. In 1991, Smith was made a Royal Designer for Industry in 1991 (RDI). In 2000, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000, becoming Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

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