Smith Society Reinvents Vintage Swimwear Silhouettes

Adam Porter-Smith has a long history working for other brands in the fashion accessories realm, but always dreamed of launching his own apparel brand. Now, that dream has become reality.

For more than a decade, Porter-Smith worked for Marchon where he launched Michael Kors eyewear, as well as in sales for Chanel, Jil Sander and Dita Eyewear. He is also cofounder of Native Ken. But during the pandemic, Porter-Smith, the husband of Billy Porter, decided it was time to take the plunge into apparel.

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He created a company called Smith Society and settled on the swimwear category as his entry into the business.

“I’ve always been inspired by 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s swimwear,” he said. Porter-Smith said after years of searching vintage stores for swimsuits from that era, he finally found a matching tank and Speedo-style bottom that he wore to Greece in 2015. And that was what planted the seed for Smith Society.

The collection is based on vintage swimwear styles. - Credit: Andrew Egan/Courtesy of Smith Society
The collection is based on vintage swimwear styles. - Credit: Andrew Egan/Courtesy of Smith Society

Andrew Egan/Courtesy of Smith Society

The result is a collection of four styles in three colors each: a belted bather with an original logo buckle design; a Y-back tank; a racer-back cabana striped thong, and an X-back, a modern take on the classic lifeguard suit.

While the initial offering is targeted to men, the goal is for the line to be nonbinary, he said.

“Gender-specific doors in the world of apparel have been knocked down in the last four or five years, and much progress has been made with the de-gendering of fashion,” Porter-Smith said. “My design aesthetic was emboldened as I watched gay culture and beyond embrace silhouettes and new ideas around what we wear and the tone it sets in a new and more open world of fashion.”

The line will be sold direct-to-consumer on the Smith Society website and will retail for $75 to $150. On Aug. 7, the line will be presented in a trunk show at Bellport General in Bellport, N.Y.

In addition to the physical lineup, Smith Society is working with Cent to release a line of NFTs for the collection.

Brian Perrin, head of creative marketing for Cent, said the NFTs will be free and allow customers to access special events planned by the brand. “They will link to the site, but you don’t have to buy anything,” he said, adding that the goal is build community and engagement with artists such as Porter-Smith.

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