Pop trading company is on an upward trajectory to global recognition. Just last year, the Amsterdam-based skate brand clinched a partnership with fashion mammoth Burberry ‒ blending its heritage with a classic British appeal while spotlighting a shared love for the outdoors in a collaborative collection.
Last month, Pop Trading Company, yet again, announced a collaboration with a legend: Paul Smith. Here, a similar approach comes through, seamlessly marrying the codes of both brands. That said, this new collaborative collection couldn’t be more different from the previous one.
Defined by its easy, utility-inspired silhouettes, the collection gives shape to the playful spirit of the ʼ90s ‒ boasting an exuberant colour palette and graphic prints that mirror Pop Trading Company’s trademark style and Paul Smith’s archives.
A key feature: The signature stripe of the latter takes the leading role, displayed across T-shirts, technical outerwear and accessories like a skate-inspired belt, sandals and a skateboard. Elsewhere, more graphic and block stripes, contemporary iterations of the iconic motif, dress knitwear, socks and jersey.
“THE THING THAT REALLY EXCITES ME ABOUT THIS COLLECTION IS THAT PETER [KOLKS] AND RIC [VAN REST] FROM POP TRADING COMPANY WERE ABLE TO SEE THE ARCHIVE WITH FRESH EYES AND WERE INSPIRED ENOUGH TO CREATE SOMETHING THAT FEELS THOROUGHLY CONTEMPORARY BUT WITH ROOTS IN THE PAST. THE WAY WE’VE BLENDED PAUL SMITH CODES LIKE COLOUR, STRIPES AND TAILORING WITH POP’S MORE RELAXED SILHOUETTES IS SEAMLESS.” – PAUL SMITH
The role Paul Smith plays in the collaboration is immense as his influence continues to imbue the collection in other ways. While the linings sport a quintessentially “Paul” palette of orange, lime green and plum, a series of ready-to-wear ‒ like an oversized, unstructured cardigan-esque blazer and coordinating wide-legged trousers in a cotton-corduroy fabric with a seersucker-like finish ‒ nod at the brand’s rich tailoring heritage.
The Tulip print, seen on a workwear-inspired utility vest (inspired by a waistcoat found in the Paul Smith archive) and trousers, also pays homage to the London-based label ‒ reworked from one of the designer’s iconic photo prints from the ʼ90s that decorated a vintage show invitation.
Of course, the DNA of Pop Trading Company was also prominent; the street label’s trademark relaxed, skate-inspired style defines the silhouettes of baggy cargo trousers and shorts, a reversible pop-over hooded technical jacket, sleeveless knitwear, laidback polos, bucket hats and casual shirts, one of which is a direct reproduction of an archival Paul Smith style.
Housed in the Paul Smith stores of voco Orchard and Marina Bay Sands, the collection exhales nostalgia and newness simultaneously ‒ an evocative symbol.
(Images: Paul Smith)