The Insta-famous pink wall outside of Paul Smith’s Melrose Avenue boutique in Los Angeles is fading to black. But the 300-plus fans who visit the beloved backdrop daily needn’t worry. It’s part of a promotion tied to the British designer’s latest Hollywood gig designing costumes for “Men in Black: International,” the Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson feature opening June 14.
“This wall…it’s more popular than the Frank Gehry music hall and the Hollywood sign, how did that happen?” the designer said in disbelief during a recent visit to Los Angeles when, it should be said, only a handful of snap-happy visitors recognized him. “You do look gorgeous in front of it, it’s really flattering,” he added. (And he’s right.)
The bubble-gum-colored facade of his Melrose Avenue store, open since 2005, has become an L.A. landmark for the social media age, and a target for troublemakers — last year, the wall was vandalized by a street artist named Thrashbird with the words, “Go f–k ur selfie.” It is regularly repainted simply because of the wear and tear of visitors, too. “Men in Black” black is taking over half the wall through June 14 as part of the promotion for the film.
Smith has made bespoke suits for the principal and supporting characters in Columbia Pictures’ latest installment in the secret agent-meets-alien franchise. Additionally, he’s rolling out a retail collection inspired by the film. Priced $55 to $1,560, it features suits, dress shirts with sunglasses, and pug-shaped button studs, monster-printed hoodies, leather accessories, socks and ties hitting stores today.
In the film, if you look closely, Smith makes a cameo as a typewriter repairman. He said, “I have been asked many times to be in films but have always said no. But this time I got persuaded by my team. I think it’s maybe 14 seconds and almost certainly I’ll be offered an Oscar.”