PAUL SMITH ‘MINI ON LOCATION’ HOLDALL (2009)

Two great British icons of the late 20th century came together in this quirky canvas holdall. The highly respected designer and retailer Paul Smith (1946–) and the small but feisty Mini Cooper car, the epitome of swinging 1960s pizzazz.

Smith’s association with the Mini dates back to the late 1990s. In 1998, he collaborated with the car’s manufacturer, the Rover Group, on a limited edition version, inspired by a one-off Mini he had designed for the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show. Its bodywork featured the designer’s famous signature motif, incorporating stripes in 86 different colors.

In the 200s, the stripy car began to appear in an innovative series of photographic prints – known as ‘Mini on Location ‘ – used on a range of classic Paul Smith accessories, from bags to cufflinks. The striking surrealistic images staged the rainbow Mini in iconic British settings – Portland Bill lighthouse, the roof of Harrod’s department store, and in a wintry Sherwood Forest, the ‘shire wood’ of Smith’s native country of Nottinghamshire and the legendary home of Robin Hood.

The Mini Cooper designed by Paul Smith

As always with Smith’s work, it is the combination of classic style with a humorous or characterful twist that lifts the bag out of the run-of-the-mill. Quality craftsmanship, too – evident everywhere here from the purple inner lining to the brown leather handles and trim – helps to create the perfect holdall for the modern gentleman.