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Land Rover partners with Paul Smith to create ‘one off’ Defender


British designer, Sir Paul Smith has collaborated with Land Rover to create a bespoke Defender.

The model was revealed today at the designer’s shop on Albemarle Street, Mayfair.

Smith has owned several of the vehicles over the years, he said: “The Defender is a British icon, which is something I’m exceptionally proud of. I keep a Defender at my home in Italy which is in the middle of the countryside, so it’s the perfect vehicle to cope with the rugged terrain.”

Working closely with Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) design team, which is able to fulfill individual customer commissions and personalisation, he took inspiration from the British countryside and the Armed Forces, and came up with 27 different colours for the exterior panels.

Smith said: “I wanted deep rich colours, but at the same time, I wanted them to work together yet be surprising.

“This is a complete one-off; I wanted to give this Defender a feeling of luxury, so I used a mix of leather and fabric for the seats. I actually used the fabric that I design for Maharam, the American upholstery company. The vehicle features lots of special Paul Smith touches.

“Inside, black leather contrasts against blue stitching and there are lots of little hidden details throughout. For example, there is an image of a set of keys printed inside the glove compartment. Then there is a hand-painted bee on the roof, which is another little tongue-in-cheek reference to the countryside and the heritage of the car. Also, the traditional Defender clock has been replaced with a Paul Smith fascia. My designs are known for their attention to detail, so I didn’t want this Defender to be any different.”

Design director and chief creative officer of Land Rover Gerry McGovern said: “I felt it would be a fitting tribute to the iconic Defender, that one of Britain's most distinguished designers worked with the Land Rover team to recognise his creative vision.”

Check out our image gallery of the model here.

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