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Paul Smith Collaborates with Land Rover to Create Bespoke Defender

By Zahra Al-Kateb

Shot_06_(105709)British designer Sir Paul Smith has collaborated with Land Rover to create a bespoke, colorful Defender.

A longstanding owner of the Land Rover Defender, Smith has owned several of the vehicles over the years. “The Defender is a British icon, which is something I’m exceptionally proud of. I keep a Defender at my home in Italy which is in the middle of the countryside, so it’s the perfect vehicle to cope with the rugged terrain” he said.

Int_004_(105712)The bespoke vehicle, which was revealed outside Paul Smith’s flagship store in London, features a 27-color exterior palette, paying homage to the British Army, Navy and Air Force as well as the British Country Side.

Smith said: “I wanted deep, rich colors, but at the same time, I wanted them to work together yet be surprising.”

Further adding to the uniqueness of the design, Smith worked with Land Rover to ensure that the interior also stayed true to his vision. “This is a complete one-off; I wanted to give this Defender a feeling of luxury, so I used a mix of leather and fabric for the seats. I actually used the fabric that I design for Maharam, the American upholstery company. The vehicle features lots of special Paul Smith touches.

“Inside, black leather contrasts against blue stitching and there are lots of little hidden details throughout. For example, there is an image of a set of keys printed inside the glove box compartment. Then there is a hand-painted bee on the roof, which is another little tongue-in-cheek reference to the countryside and the heritage of the car. Also, the traditional Defender clock has been replaced with a Paul Smith Fascia. My designs are known for their attention to detail, so I didn’t want this Defender to be any different.”

Shot_11_(105718)Despite the personal touches added by Smith, the Defender retains some of its traditional elements, such as the wing mirrors, door handles and wheels.

Gerry McGovern, Design Director and Chief Creative Officer of Land Rover said: “I felt it would be a fitting tribute to the iconic Defender, that one of Britain’s most distinguished designers worked with the Land Rover team to recognize his creative vision.”

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