One of the more interesting bits of news to come out of the Urbanaut media blitz is a new MINI and Paul Smith collaboration. Paul Smith and his brand have been associated with Mini for decades and this new collab hints at something interesting and perhaps even a bit more meaningful than just a special color or trim package.


MINI and Paul Smith have announced their second collaboration since 1999. Not only are they both British institutions with a strong tradition, they also share a commitment to continuous development and to ensuring their products make the future a better place. The two brands have always been committed to using the available resources responsibly and to maximum effect. In this new phase of their successful collaboration, the two brands will enter into a creative dialogue, working together to develop design solutions with an even stronger focus on sustainability.

MINI And Paul Smith

Sustainability as a mindset. 

The central idea behind the first Mini was already based on a sustainable principle. Conceived in the midst of the oil crisis, it was a family car that offered maximum space and driving enjoyment, while minimising the use of materials and resources. The classic Mini showed how much more you can do with less – before anyone was even talking about sustainability. Reduction was a key aspect at the time and has therefore been an integral part of the MINI mindset since the brand’s earliest days. 

“We are taking the sustainability-led concept of the first Mini further into the future with the MINI Vision Urbanaut – our vision for a spacious, multifunctional MINI model,” says Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design. “It too offers maximum space within a small footprint. And it’s more versatile than ever. Moreover, the interior incorporates fully recycled materials, and we have avoided leather and chrome altogether.”

“Key to a lot of the most iconic examples of design is simplicity,” adds Sir Paul Smith. “In other words, it’s about what you leave out, not what you add. The thinking in fashion is similar. For Paul Smith, as for MINI, sustainability has always been a natural way of approaching things, even before the word was on everyone’s lips. We have always sought a responsible approach to materials and production conditions. Using recycled packaging, reducing fabric waste and powering our shops with renewable energy sources are just a few of the measures we have introduced and we’re constantly looking at ways that we can do more.” For Oliver Heilmer, collaboration is the next logical step: “We are drawn to each other by our similarities, and then we inspire and enrich each other through the differences between the fashion world and the automotive industry. Because there is no future without sustainability.”

MINI And Paul Smith

MINI and Paul Smith.

Sir Paul Smith is one of Britain’s foremost designers. He is renowned for his creative aesthetic, which combines tradition and modernity. In the late 1990s, Paul collaborated with Mini on a limited-run special edition of the classic Mini. The car was painted in a shade of blue imagined by Sir Paul, and sported neatly coordinated anthracite alloy wheels. Equally popular was a one-off creation to mark the classic Mini’s 40th birthday. This one was painted in Smith’s signature multicolour stripes.

Further information on the planned collaboration will follow in due course.