MAKING PROGRESS: A mutual love of music, art and design brought Sir Paul Smith and the graphic designer Tom Hingston together. The two joined forces to debut “Progress,” an exhibition and capsule collection celebrating Hingston’s 20 years in business.
Smith called the tie-in a “natural fix” given the close ties both creatives have with the music industry. Hingston is best known for working with musicians, including Grace Jones, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Lady Gaga, to create art for album covers as well as direct music videos.
To mark his professional milestone, Hingston wanted to work with Smith to create ways of experiencing music imagery and band merchandise.
“I said, wouldn’t it be great to not do T-shirts, but some super limited-edition, high-end band merchandise instead?” said Hingston. “The products take the imagery that everyone is so familiar with and give it a whole new lease of life.”
Among the standout products in the capsule are hand-painted leather jackets by Robert Del Naja of the band Massive Attack, a velvet embroidered bomber jacket by Nick Cave and acid-colored knitwear by Chemical Brothers. “One of my favorite album covers is ‘Born in the Echoes’ by the Chemical Brothers, so we’ve taken the artwork and put that into three variations of knitwear,” said Smith, praising Hingston’s attention to detail. “If young graphic designers come [to see the exhibition], they’ll realize that to progress you need very strong ideas and that attention to detail.”
Alongside the debut of the collection, the exhibition — held at the Paul Smith flagship on Mayfair’s Albemarle Street in London — showcases an array of Hingston’s memorabilia, from notebooks to vinyls and a series of his most famous album covers reworked, as lenticular prints. The prints are available to purchase, with all the proceeds being donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust, chosen by Hingston for its associations with music.
The show will run until May 20.