A TRIBUTE TO AN ICON: British designer Sir Paul Smith helped to create this one-off Defender with luxury trim, special cabin details and an exterior that uses 27 colours. Image: Land Rover
• Special 'one-off' Defender
• 27 exterior colours
• Inspired by armed forces
LONDON, England - British designer Sir Paul Smith collaborated with Land Rover to create a bespoke Defender, revealed at the designer’s shop in Mayfair in the English capital on March 20.
Smith, Britain's foremost designer, worked closely with Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations design team with guidance from Land Rover’s design director and chief creative officer Gerry McGovern.
The vehicle has 27 exterior colours inspired by, Smith says, the British countryside or were historically used on Defenders in the British armed forces.
'A FEELING OF LUXURY'
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, an American upholstery company."
IMAGE GALLERY: 2015 Land Rover Defender
Smith gave the SVO team a set of colour references which were then mixed for the vehicle. The interior of the vehicle has luxury leather trim and special details throughout.
He said: “Black leather contrasts blue stitching and there are lots of little hidden details throughout. For example, there's an image of a set of keys printed inside the glove compartment. Then there's 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.”
DEFENDER - A BRITISH ICON
Smith has owned several Land Rovers: “The Defender is a British icon, something of which I’m exceptionally proud. 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.”
Though Smith has added many personal touches, the Defender retains traditional elements such as its external mirrors, door releases and alloy rims.
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.”
The exclusive Defender will be part of a year-long celebration of the famous 4x4 as it enters its final phase of production at the automaker's plant in Solihull, England.