Paul Smith – the Instagram tour

Last Monday I was invited to a special breakfast at Paul Smith’s Covent Garden HQ at the painful hour of 7am. I might have attempted it but I had to be at the WIRED Retail conference on the other side of town that morning. *WEEPS AND WAILS* But here’s why it was special. Following breakfast and a meet-n-greet, the invited attendees were led by Sir Paul himself on an #Instameet tour of Covent Garden, ending at the Paul Smith store in Floral Street.

If you remember, it was a beautiful morning and the whole thing was – obviously – captured on Instagram (#Paulsearlybirdlondon) by the lucky invitees. Why was it so great? This was an Instagram campaign that had nothing to do with selling product. Sir Paul Smith is a photography enthusiast, has a genuine connection to Covent Garden and is possibly the only superstar designer I can imagine doing something like this, just for the joy of it. I asked if they might do another one (hopeful face) but was told it was a one-off. And rightly so. For consumer engagement, it’s possibly my favourite social media campaign of the year, even if it wasn’t an official one…

One more of sunrise from Waterloo Bridge for #paulsearlybirdlondon. Great to be back in this beautiful city ? A photo posted by Hannah Waldram (@hannahrw) on

#paulsearlybirdlondon A photo posted by Grant Andrews (@igrantthee) on

The eclectic collection lining all four storeys of Paul Smith Studios staircase. #paulsearlybirdlondon @paulsmithdesign

A photo posted by ????????????R A C H E L (@londongrrl) on

Best way to spend a crisp Monday morning. With @paulsmithdesign on #paulsearlybirdlondon #london #walkingtour A photo posted by Jonathan Daniel Pryce (@garconjon) on

WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl