Paul Smith and the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) have started a new partnership on a multi-faceted initiative to mentor and develop emerging menswear designers based in North America.


The program sees the CFDA work in conjunction with Paul Smith’s Foundation to select an emerging designer who will be offered business development mentorship from Paul Smith, in addition to an opportunity to co-design the next iteration of the “&PaulSmith” collaboration series.


Supported by Paul Smith’s Foundation, “&PaulSmith” offers a fresh and authentic approach to collaborative collections, concentrating on connecting with emerging and untapped talent who also benefit from a mentorship program that nurtures the next generation of designers.


The initiative has been made possible by a donation from Paul Smith’s Foundation to support the CFDA in their work supporting new talent in the North American market. The designer offered the “&PaulSmith” collaboration opportunity will receive a grant from Paul Smith’s Foundation and was sourced from the CFDA’s community of designers after an internal CFDA committee presented a shortlist of candidates by private referral.


As part of the program, the British designer will offer access and guidance to his design collaborator on the “&PaulSmith” collection as they grow their own brand.


The donation from Paul Smith’s Foundation will support the CFDA in their efforts to strengthen the impact of American fashion and emerging talent in the global economy through their many programs, including IMPACT initiative, Designers Hub, and Fashion Future Graduate Showcase (FFGS).

The resulting “&PaulSmith” collaborative capsule collection will be released with the fall/winter 2023 season and will be sold on, in Paul Smith retail locations and exclusively with Ssense, that was the first global platform to launch Commission in 2020.

Ahluwalia &Paul Smith
Photo: Paul Smith
Ahluwalia &Paul Smith
The inaugural “&PaulSmith” collaboration and mentorship program launched earlier in April 2022 with an innovative capsule collection in partnership with Ahluwalia, a London-based brand founded by Priya Ahluwalia that operates according to environmental and socially positive practices.

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