After nearly 40 years of showing in Paris, starting with his first runway show in 1976, Paul Smith decided it was “the ideal time” to come to Florence. He anticipated significant disruptions to Paris Fashion Week due to the upcoming Olympic Games.

On Tuesday, Paul Smith launched the special events program at the Pitti Uomo menswear show with his signature elegant, laid-back style as one of this season’s guest designers.

Paul Smith- Pitti Uomo- Paris Fashion Week
Paul Smith unveiling his Summer 2025 collection in Florence Image Source ph DM

Paul Smith adores Italy and spends most summers at his Lucca house near Florence. He chose to forgo the traditional runway show format for a more intimate event, personally presenting and explaining his creations.

He welcomed his guests at Villa Favard, the neo-classical palazzo home to the Polimoda Fashion Academy. For the occasion, he transformed the venue into Bar Paul, a gentlemen’s club with personalised napkins, glass holders, cups, matchboxes, and even sugar sachets featuring his name alongside the words’ Pitti Uomo 2024′.

Some guests sat at tables arranged on the expansive lawn of the palazzo’s park, sipping their first drinks, while others ventured inside to admire the building’s gilded halls and frescoes.

The first room displayed a dozen suits, including one in white cotton with a pocket holding several paintbrushes, hinting at the collection’s theme. Sir Paul greeted his guests in the next room, styled like a painter’s studio, as if they were in his own home. He unveiled 15 looks from his Spring/Summer 2025 collection, exuding an understated, artistic vibe.

Smith relished playing the role of the smooth-talking, sophisticated Briton, infusing his legendary humor as he addressed the models by their first names, either calling them out or politely guiding them backstage. The looks blended casual and super-elegant styles, notable for their high-quality lightweight fabrics such as linen and summer wool.

The collection featured impeccably tailored three-dart trousers, flawless blazers, pinstriped jeans, gossamer shirts in printed silk, and light four-pocket overshirts.

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Paul Smith focused on the details, demonstrating how he precisely positioned the six buttons on a double-breasted navy jacket for easier wear and designed an oversized rectangular bag to accommodate a painter’s artwork. He also provided styling tips, suggesting pairing a chic jacket with flowing trousers instead of a casual top.

He paired trousers in Prince of Wales or micro checks with tone-on-tone shirts and loosely knotted ties, all adorned with a slightly kitsch motif of moons, suns, and period buildings, reminiscent of tourist souvenir scarves.

For a more rock ‘n’ roll vibe, Smith showcased ensembles featuring a dinner jacket, embroidered collar and lapels, and fitted trousers detailed with floral piping in the same embroidered pattern.

Paul Smith - Pitti Uomo - Paris Fashion Week
Paul Smith personally presented his eponymous labels Summer 2025 collection Image Source ph DM

He designed some of the trousers in collaboration with Lee, a partnership set to debut in 2025. For Smith, this collaboration also serves as a bridge between his new collection and his past. He reminisced about selling Lee painter trousers when he started his business in 1970 with a store in his native Nottingham.

Paul Smith also expressed his pleasure as one of the first designers invited to show at Pitti Uomo in 1993. He participated in another edition of the show in 2017, where he presented PS Paul Smith, his younger sportswear line.

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