Paul Smith, UK-based fashion designer, is continuing his pursuit to inspire the upcoming generation of menswear designers. Earlier this year, Smith announced the &PaulSmith collaboration program, which is structured to uplift and mature emerging talent. The program which is funded by the Paul Smith Foundation, took on its first recipient- the London-based brand Ahluwalia, founded by Priya Ahluwalia. The brands capsule collection dropped in April.

Paul Smith Portrait

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Commission, a New York-based label with roots in womenswear, founded in 2018, expanded into the menswear market last year and is the latest awardee of Smith’s magnanimity. After a meeting with the brand that took place on Monday in New York, Smith stated Commision was chosen “for the obvious creative synergy between the two brands as well as their potential for positive impact with Paul’s personal guidance.” 

Dylan Cao and Jin Kay, the founders of Commission, are first-generation immigrants from Vietnam and South Korea, respectively. They graduated from The New School’s Parsons School of Design where they built a network of friends propelling them into work at other fashion companies. Agreeing that the work there did not bring them joy, they soon decided to set their own brand into motion. This womenswear drew inspiration from their mothers work wardrobes. The clothing was characterized by the ’80s and ’90s and reinterpreted to reflect the modern woman. Following a request made by Canadian menswear store Ssense, Cao and Kay broadened their gender offerings in 2021. 

Commission Portrait

Smith partnered with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to mentor and develop emerging menswear designers based in North America. The objective is to reach traditionally underserved communities and connect them with designers who can offer commercial opportunities and key business contacts.

Commission was chosen by CFDA’s community of designers after an internal committee from the organization introduced a shortlist of candidates to the designer. The &PaulSmith capsule collection with Commission is set to release in Fall of 2023. Pieces will be sold at the Paul Smith retail stores, on the designer’s website, and at Ssense.