British crooner Sam Smith will be sporting custom suits from the Calvin Klein Collection during his 2014 North American tour, which starts today at the United Palace Theatre in New York City.
The various looks will be inspired from Smith’s own style mantra: “Simple, classic and timeless.”
“Fashion hugely influences my music,” the 22-year-old told WWD. “When I wrote my record, I had to think very deeply how I wanted to represent myself. I wanted people to focus on the music and I wanted my clothes to marry my music and work hand-in-hand. I also wanted to look classic, but look my age, yet at the same time, ageless.”
To meet that aesthetic, Italo Zucchelli, the brand’s men’s creative director — who also outfitted Smith’s band — created an assortment of custom suits in muted colors. They include a two-button notch-lapel slim-fit suit in solid navy, a dark gray microcheck, a midgray check, a charcoal check and a navy with a large check, all in wool. The suits will be paired with dress shirts and suede boots.
“We wanted him to look smart and classic,” Zucchelli said. “I didn’t want to go crazy with a fashion statement. I like that because in this case, it’s all about his voice and that’s what it’s about. If you looked at his MTV VMA performance he was wearing a navy tuxedo. But really, the performance wasn’t about his clothes, it was about his voice.”
The two came together after Smith’s stylist pulled a few pieces for the “Stay With Me” singer’s recent “Saturday Night Live” performance.
“He knows what flatters him and tends to want to go for checks, but in simpler colors like dark grays, blacks and checks,” Zucchelli said. “That’s the only requirement. He’s not dancing onstage, so it’s easy with him. He’s a big and very tall guy. He likes to be smart when he chooses what he’s going to wear. But though he’s big, he wants to be taller.”
To make him appear a few inches taller — Smith is 6 feet, 4 inches — the designer said he worked closely with alterations that “fit him perfectly.”
And footwear helps, too.
“We gave him shoes that are platform-ish and have a thick, high sole,” Zucchelli said.
Ultimately, it’s Frank Sinatra that Smith wanted to resemble.
“[He’s] my fashion icon,” he said. “He let his clothes showcase his voice. He wore the simplest clothes, but at the same time, the most complex. His style forced you to listen to his voice, but it was his clothes and style that helped make his music sound like dollar bills.”