The Panama Legacy continues as we announce the second chapter of our collaboration with young British artist Quentin Jones.
Inspired by the past, made for the future, Frank Smythson’s original Panama diary design from 1908 stirred an entire collection, focusing on the remarkable pliability of its iconic cross-grain leather which allows each item to be rolled, shaped and folded without becoming misshapen.
Six months later, in a covetable selection of leather handbags and accessories, an additional Panama capsule collection is born, wearing Quentin’s illustrations in graphic style and embodying her surrealist, artistic flair. Launching as a worldwide exclusive at Colette Paris on Monday 10th March, the collection and a selection of Quentin’s portraits of Panama advocates from past and present will travel across the globe, bringing the legacy to life in this bold collaboration.
Behind the scenes in her New York studio, Quentin opened her doors to let us delve into the design process. Awash with graphic sketches and illustrations, each wall is overwhelmingly bold, seizing attention with a feast of black and white animated sketches and a symphony of shapes and icons.
The ‘Camden cat’ print is arguably eye-catching; its quirkily winking face reminiscent of the playful, surreal drawings Quentin is known so well for. Amid detailed prints and depictions, each picture comes to life against its blank canvas, creating a powerful juxtaposition of light and depth.
Once Quentin’s artworks are finalised, each illustration is sent to print on the curated selection of classic Panama handbags and accessories. Unique in design, the Panama’s cross-grain leather surface absorbs and reacts to dyes in unpredictable ways, and securing the right technique is both scrupulous and painstaking. The technique used is highly innovative; digitally printed with use of specialised machinery, allowing a duplicate match to the original artwork across all materials of the bags and accessories. The result is a wearable piece of art; an investment both covetable and collectable. Vividly bold, each piece exudes our history with a contemporary twist – a combination of Smythson’s enduring, timeless designs with Quentin’s distinguishable modern muse.