UP IN THE AIR: To celebrate its History of Travel campaign, which launches on Monday, Smythson plans to unveil an airplane model made entirely from items in its Panama accessories collection. Commissioned for the flagship New Bond Street boutique, the sculpture was made by the British artist Billie Achilleos, and is composed of more than 100 handcrafted leather products.
The model will be displayed in the boutique’s window until late August, and will travel to other stores later this year. The store’s ground-floor “grotto” area will also house a collection of travel pieces from Smythson’s archives, ranging from Bon Voyage cards to a grooming kit from 1906.
The plane itself is inspired by a bespoke invitation from 1932 discovered in Smythson’s archives. Designed for the Maharaja of Jodhpur, it has a Staggerwing airplane on its face. “This is the first time I’ve actually worked with a plane,” said Achilleos. “It’s also the first time I’ve worked with something motorized.”
The moving propeller, which has been made using 25 Panama notebooks, will add motion to the suspended plane to convey the perception of flight.
Smythson’s other boutiques will also showcase propeller models during the season.
The plane will mark the launch of the updated Panama collection of handbags and accessories, presented in a palette of tones including charcoal, cognac and berry, for the fall season.