Paul Smith's Pink Boutique Partners With Instagram on Rainbow Stripes for L.A. Pride
In collaboration with Instagram, the designer will be giving his store's exterior — a selfie Mecca for stars like Karlie Kloss and Hailee Steinfeld — a colorful makeover in support of the LGBTQ community.
It has been there since 2005, but the Paul Smith boutique on Melrose has evolved in recent years into a social media mecca, beckoning Instagrammers from around the globe to its sprawling pink exterior. "When I knew I was getting a shop in Los Angeles, I realized I had to do something with impact," says Paul Smith, who was inspired by Mexican architect Luis Barragan, known for his use of bold colors. "It's now one of the most Instagrammed buildings in California." Supermodel Karlie Kloss, YouTube star Cameron Dallas and Hailee Steinfeld are among the notable millennials who have posed there. Now THR has an exclusive peek at plans for the first major makeover of the bubble-gum backdrop.
In honor of L.A. Pride (June 5 to 11), the store's west-facing facade will be covered in rainbow stripes — a stylish reinterpretation of the rainbow flag, the international LGBTQ symbol. Instagram approached Smith with the idea for the store, which has added a parking lot attendant to manage selfie-snapping crowds, and he was keen to participate. The two companies collaborated on the design, which incorporates pink stripes as a nod to the original. (The color is so popular, it inspired a Paul Smith capsule collection called #MelrosePink, featuring swim trunks, socks and scarves.) The wall also will feature the hashtag #kindcomments, meant to encourage "kindness and compassion," says Marne Levine, COO of Instagram, which plans in the coming months to install rainbow murals in other cities, including Cleveland, London and Madrid.
As for the L.A. original, the new look was to debut May 31 at an unveiling with Eric Garcetti (referred to around Instagram HQ as "the Mayor of Instagram" for his exceedingly strong Insta-game) on hand. Alas, the look is just a temporary one, as the wall will return to its original pink once L.A. Pride season is over. "I think it will look really outstanding," says Smith. "Make the most of it while it's there!"
This story first appeared in the May 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.