The new ‘531’ range of jeans and jerseys from Paul Smith are named after the famous Reynolds double-butted tubeset, developed in 1935 and used by Tour de France champions such as Luxembourg’s Charly Gaul (1958), France’s Jacques Anquetil (1961) and Belgium’s Eddy Merckx (1969).
531 was named for the ratio of key elements in this manganese-steel alloy.
Smith was a one-time Nottingham racing cyclist, hoping for a possible job as a pro when an accident aged 17 forced him to take a different career path. He became a fashion designer and his suits, shirts and ties have been worn by the rich and famous. There are Paul Smith retail stores all over the world. The first one opened in 1970.
Last year Smith forged an alliance with handcrafted bicycle maker Mercian of Derby to produce a range of super-expensive, super-trendy Paul Smith bikes.
The Paul Smith ‘531’ jeans range is made from premium Japanese dark rinse denims with buttons on the inside and studs on the outside. All other garments have button holes on the back which enables riders to secure their top layers to their jeans when riding.
Jerseys include half-zip poloâ€™s and crew necks and are made from hemp. Colours include yellow, green and teal blue, and they come in antiqued shades and sit alongside a large selection of black and white designs.
Hand painted red and white polka dots are a detail which feature on most pieces, including jeans waist bands, tabs on jerseys.
Part of the ‘531’ collection is made in partnership with Ã¼ber-chic bike togs brand, Rapha. The jersey pictured at the top of the page is the Grand DÃ©part jersey made from Sportwool. There’s also to be a range of tweed/ houndstooth cycling caps.
The 531 collection will be available at Paul Smith Jeans, 7-11 Langley Court, London WC2. The limited edition Rapha products will be available from Paul Smith shops, Paulsmith.co.uk and Rapha.cc, although they are not on either site just yet.