The Fashion Bricolage of Job Smeets

The Dutch provocateur wears his irreverence on his sleeves.

(LEFT) Trousers by Dries Van Noten; shoes by Prada; Bracelet by Hermés. (RIGHT) Jacket by Jeremy Scott for Adidas; shoes by Maison Margiela.

Growing up among deeply conservative Catholics in Southern Holland, Job Smeets drew stares for wearing pleated pants. “I was always a weird guy in the way I dressed,” admits the artist and designer, whose sartorial irreverence has only increased with age. As a founder of the firm Studio Job, Smeets dreams up eclectic, imaginative objects that gracefully straddle high and low, such as plush couches shaped like hot dogs and bronze lamps that resemble lusty bananas. Dressed in his usual kooky, colorful attire, he looks straight out of central casting. “I’d describe my style as Method fashion,” he says, referencing Marlon Brando. “I create looks that come from specific areas—football, motorcycles, rock ‘n’ roll—and then I mix them all together.”

(LEFT) Jumpsuit by Engine; shoes by Nike; timepiece by Studio Job x Swatch. (RIGHT) Hat by Acne; jacket by Jil Sander; necklace by Tiffany & Co.

He picks up pieces that are intrinsic to wherever he travels, like a WASPy Polo sweater purchased in the Hamptons this past summer and a cowboy hat found at a shop in Nashville once frequented by Elvis. “It’s so hard it’s like a hat for a doll,” he says. Back home, he pairs them with items given to him by fashion houses Jil Sander and Viktor & Rolf, whose designers are, he notes, “his best friends;” as well as vintage dead-stock accessories like 1977 Ray-Ban Shooter glasses and a 1972 Tag Heuer Calculator watch sourced from dealers. “I got guys,” he says, discreetly. It takes him five minutes to get dressed, and he never wears the same outfit twice. He also doesn’t care what people think of them. “I like a little bit of shock factor, but I don’t get dressed for others; I do it for myself,” he explains.

(LEFT) Hat by Borsalino; sunglasses by Celine; jacket by Adidas; shoes by Maison Margiela; bag by Gucci. (RIGHT) Vintage hat; shirt by Maison Margiela; shoes by Prada

That said, he’s considering doing away with all the different looks, and just sporting silk pajamas he custom-made at Harrods. “They’re more elegant than a suit,” he says, adding that they also cut the dry-cleaning bill and thus help the environment. “People change their clothes three times a day—it’s unnecessary. Maybe pajamas should get better PR.”

(LEFT) Hat by Third Man Records; jacket by Viktor & Rolf; trousers by Balmain; shoes by Dries Van Noten; necklace by Tiffany & Co; ring by Maison Margiela. (RIGHT) Glasses by Tom Ford; pajamas by Harrods; bear by Studio Job x Barneys; clock by Wehrle.
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