Christoph Niemann and Paul Smith muse on modern life in new sportswear collaboration

With all the heartwarming charm you’d expect from the Berlin-based illustrator, the collection riffs on the everyday details of life and travel.

13 March 2020

Illustrator Christoph Niemann has teamed up with designer Paul Smith to create a collection of modern sportswear inspired by the foibles of everyday life. The Berlin-based illustrator has used the same sharp wit and line-based style that he usually deploys in the likes of The New Yorker or The New York Times Magazine to create a charming collection of Paul Smith clothes, shoes and accessories, transforming wearers into a “living canvas”.

“My idea was to show a different angle of contemporary life,” Niemann tells It’s Nice That about the concept behind the collaboration. “I wanted to play with obvious topics (at the art gallery, travelling), but then zoom in on less predictable aspects.”

On the shirts you can find exceptionally relatable snapshots of modern life, from the x-ray line at the airport, a museum visitor focussing on the label rather than the work and a tangle of phone chargers. “All these situations are modern life,” Niemann adds. “I wanted to see if we can show that there actually is some poetry hidden here, especially when the drawings come to life with the incredible craftsmanship of Paul and his team of wizards.”

The spring/summer ’20 collection includes a series of graphic prints on t-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies, as well as a set of colourful accessories that includes scarves, canvas bags and leather cardholder wallets.

“Paul and Christoph’s shared approach to design is the foundation of this collaboration,” a spokesperson for the brand said in a release about the collection. “Both men have an irreverent, playful side and delight in surprising their audience while remaining very relatable and rooted in the real world.” Just like when two of your best mates start dating, we couldn’t be happier that two It’s Nice That faves have found each other.

The collection is available now from

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Christoph Niemann and Paul Smith: Spring/summer ’20 collection

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About the Author

Laura Snoad

Laura is a London-based arts journalist who has been working for It’s Nice That on a freelance basis since 2016.

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