Sir Paul Smith showed Cyclingnews a photograph of Andy Warhol's pop art portrait of Marilyn Monroe to explain his inspiration for his design of the maglia rosa and the other leader's jersey for the 2013 Giro d'Italia.
The British fashion designer explained that his love of vintage cycling jerseys from the fifties and sixties lead him to opt for a minimalist jersey design, adding only touches of contrasting colour to the pink, red, blue and white of four leader's jerseys.
Each of the four leader's jerseys also has Smith's signature on the collar, his trademark colour stripes on the left sleeve and a cyclist drawn by Smith on the side panel. The jerseys are produced by Santini.
"I wanted to keep the jersey design very simple. I was inspired by Andy Warhol's and put a very nice pink with red together to create a pop art style, with colours that clash together but in a modern colour combination."
"It's bright but I wanted a minimal design too. I don’t like the jerseys with lots of clutter. I hope the riders like it and will feel cool in. There have been lots of god jersey designs over the years but I like the iconic jerseys: the rainbow jersey and the celeste Bianchi jersey from the Coppi era."
"I think we have to thank Rapha for reintroducing simplicity and elegance back into cycling. Jerseys were very beautiful and simple but as we got more and more commercial in sport, clothing became covered in advertising."
Smith loved cycling as a teenager but a serious crash when he was 18 meant he spent several months in hospital and lead to him discovering design and fashion. He has a house in Tuscany and first visited the Giro d'Italia in 2011 and returned in 2012 for the final day in Milan.
May is a busy time for the fashion world but Smith hopes to see Bradley Wiggins try and win this year's Giro d'Italia.
"I think Brad's got a good chance. I just hope his eyes not been off the training because of all the other things he's been doing," Smith told Cyclingnews.
"I think it's a good course for him with the time trials stages. It's perhaps not so good for Cav but he could win the first stage and go for the red points jersey. It'd be good to see Brad in pink and Cav in the red jersey. That would be amazing for British sport and for British design."
When asked about Lance Armstrong and his alleged confession to Oprah Winfrey, Smith claimed he had never been a fan of the Texan because of his calculating attitude to the sport.
"We'll wait and see what he says but there's not going to much sympathy for him, I'm afraid," he told Cyclingnews.
"I was never a big Lance fan because I thought his way of working was always running in parallel to all the nonsense that was going on in the financial world. It was about being calculating and not doing the little races. His career always seemed like a business plan to me. He needed more passion in his career."
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