Paul Smith, CFDA select Commission for ‘&PaulSmith’ collaboration series

Paul Smith and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) have teamed up to launch a multi-faceted initiative to mentor and develop emerging menswear designers based in North America. 

Paul Smith, CFDA name Commission for “&PaulSmith” collaboration series. – Commission

As part of the program, the CFDA and the Paul Smith’s Foundation have selected emerging designer brand Commission to receive business development mentorship from Sir Paul Smith in addition to an opportunity to co-design the next iteration of the ‘&PaulSmith’ collaboration series. 

“Commission was chosen for the obvious creative synergy between the two brands as well as their potential for positive impact with Paul’s personal guidance,” Paul Smith and the CDFA, explained in a news statement. 

Commission was founded in 2018 and is headed by the New York based Dylan Cao and Jin Kay. The brand aims to redefine and deconstruct the visual language of East Asian culture with a nostalgic yet modern wardrobe of classic garments reminiscent of their parents’ working wardrobes in the 90s in Vietnam and South Korea.

The inaugural &PaulSmith collaboration and mentorship program was first launched earlier this year. Through the program, Sir Paul Smith, who has grown the Paul Smith brand to include 130 shops and counting around the world, with locations in over 60 countries, mentored and worked with Priya Ahluwalia, behind London-based brand Ahluwalia, launching an innovative capsule collection.

Next, the resulting &PaulSmith collaborative capsule collection with Commission is expected to be released with the Autumn/Winter 2023 season and to be sold on, in Paul Smith retail locations and exclusively with Ssense, who was the first global platform to launch Commission in 2020. 

The initiative was made possible by a donation from Paul Smith’s Foundation to support the CFDA in their critical work supporting new talent in the North American market.

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