Sir Paul Smith is continuing to doing his part to encourage the next generation of menswear designers. And Commission, a New York-based label that started out in womenswear in 2018 and expanded into men’s last year, is the latest recipient of his generosity.
The U.K.-based designer said Monday that following a meeting with the brand during a recent visit to New York, Commission was chosen “for the obvious creative synergy between the two brands as well as their potential for positive impact with Paul’s personal guidance.”
Earlier this year, Smith unveiled his &PaulSmith collaboration program, which is designed to nurture emerging talent. The program is funded by the Paul Smith Foundation and its first recipient was the London-based brand Ahluwalia, founded by Priya Ahluwalia, whose capsule collection dropped in April.
On this second iteration, Smith partnered with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to mentor and develop emerging menswear designers based in North America. The goal is to focus on traditionally underserved communities by connecting designers with commercial opportunities and key business contacts.
Commission was selected from the CFDA’s community of designers after an internal committee from the organization presented a shortlist of candidates to the designer.
Commission was founded by Dylan Cao and Jin Kay, first-generation immigrants from Vietnam and South Korea, respectively, with degrees from The New School’s Parsons School of Design. After they graduated, the friends worked for other fashion companies but the experience wasn’t fulfilling, so they decided to team up and launch their own label. Their womenswear took its inspiration from the wardrobes their mothers wore to work in the ’80s and ’90s, reinterpreted for today’s modern woman. The brand expanded into menswear after the Canadian menswear store Ssense requested it in 2021.
The &PaulSmith capsule collection with Commission will be released in the fall of 2023 and will be sold at the Paul Smith retail stores and on the designer’s website as well as through Ssense.
Since founding his eponymous company in 1970, Smith has grown the Paul Smith brand to include 130 shops in more than 60 countries.