MINI AND PAUL SMITH.
AN ICONIC COMBINATION.
Iconic designs. British charm. A dash of quirkiness. Are we talking about ourselves or Paul Smith? With our shared passion for style and standing out from the crowd, we jumped at the chance to partner up with the legendary British fashion designer back in 1999. And over two decades later we’re still looking for exciting ways to make MINI x Paul Smith magic together.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN.
So how did the collaboration come about? Back in 1999, we asked various iconic figures – David Bowie included – to design a unique Mini in aid of our 40th anniversary celebrations. Paul obliged with a characteristically confident car inspired by the iconic stripes of his own fashion collection. Unlike anything the motor world had seen before, its eye-catching exterior featured no less than 82 stripes in 26 colours, while the boot and glove compartment were lined with daring lime green. It made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show that year, where none other than Kate Moss described it as “very Paul Smith.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
IT’S STYLISH TO BE SUSTAINABLE.
Fast forward to today and our partnership with Paul is only getting stronger. Just last year, we unveiled the one-off MINI STRIP. This stripped back version of the iconic MINI Electric is all about showing the beauty of scratch marks, the power of simplicity and the importance of sustainability. As well as running purely on electric power, the design features plenty of recycled acrylic glass, rubber and cork – which is completely recyclable and can be glued just by heating to avoid harmful adhesives. Even the seating is made with fully recyclable knitted fabric (yep, no leather or chrome in sight). Want to learn more? Check out our chat with Paul Smith himself below.
Paul wasn’t stopping there though. In 2021, he had yet another brainwave: to give his 1999 Paul Smith Edition Blue Mini a more sustainable future. As part of our MINI Recharged project to breathe new (electric-powered) life into old models, we replaced its combustion engine with a shiny new electric motor, promising all the charm of the classic but with zero driving emissions.
Futureproofing our sustainability strategy is just part of our Big Love goal to make the planet and its people happier. You can learn loads more about it at our Big Love Hub below.
THE MANY MINI PERSONALITIES.
Standing out is our speciality. And since 1976, we’ve been crafting a collection of over 30 limited-edition MINIs – starting with the sweet striped seats of the Mini 1000 Stripey. One of our faves has to be the groovy Union Jack Austin Powers MINI, made especially for the 2002 movie, Austin Powers in Goldmember. We’ve also produced a matte black MINI Countryman in collaboration with Calvin Klein – which raised an amazing €40,000 for AIDS research – and the cobweb-clad MINI Kate Moss, designed by the supermodel herself. And we can’t forget the MINI Cooper S XXL – our very own limousine, measuring a whopping 6.3 metres and featuring a two-person whirlpool in the rear (we’re serious!).
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