Dancer Storyboard P leaps across a New York rooftop in a new travel-friendly suit designed to be as supple as it is sophisticated.
When you’re the dancer Storyboard P, life keeps you moving. “It’s a voice,” he says, describing what he feels when he dances. “It’s this inner momentum that’s motivating the direction I go, how long I hold a move, when I should change it, what should come out.” At the age of 25, Storyboard has already made a name for himself performing on and off the streets of Brooklyn, where he grew up. He’s the king of flex, an improvisational style of dance that’s equal parts balletic grace and strong hits, marked by contortionist stunts and smooth footwork. Recently his moves have landed him roles in music videos, with hip-hop stars such as Jay Z, and a performance at Mass MoCA.
So who better to give Paul Smith’s new “A Suit to Travel In” a test run? Storyboard, who is handsome with wide-set eyes and has a soft way of speaking, danced (on a Brooklyn rooftop, in Nike Air Raids) for photographer Ruven Afanador to Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer,” subjecting the suit’s high-twist fibers to his particular athleticism. (He cites Fred Astaire and Michael Jackson as inspirations, and though he has some ballet training, he is largely self-taught from 1990s music videos and his peers.) The suit stood up. “I was expecting it to rip,” he admits. “The last time I wore a suit, it ripped. I went out and I was dancing. I was kind of embarrassed.” Where does he hope his talents will take him next? “I would love to go to Morocco,” he says. “Or Saudi Arabia. Enchanting places.”
“I travel all the time and often have to rush straight from the plane or train to a shop event or even to stand up in front of an audience at a talk, so having a suit that looks fresh is important to me,” says Paul Smith. The British designer had high expectations when searching for a fabric that could withstand a relentless travel schedule that those in the fashion world know so well. Made in styles for both men and women from 100 percent New Zealand wool, with a high-twist yarn, this crease-resistant suit—which comes in three classic colors (black, navy, and dark gray), and in three different fits—has the corozo-nut buttons that are extra hard. Smith adds: “It’s vital to have a suit that springs back to life easily.” $1,530, paulsmith.co.uk.