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The village of West Wittering, found on Britain’s sedate southern coastline, has long been a haven of escape for those fatigued by city life. This is mostly down to its long stretch of white-sand beach, edged with grassy dunes and dotted with beach huts, in vivid shades of blue, yellow and pink – all just a couple of hours from London. If the last year has taught us anything at all, it’s that escape is closer to home than you think.
Last month, a group of friends of SMR Days – Jessie Bush of @wethepeoplestyle and husband Sam Flaherty, GQ Style fashion director Elgar Johnson and actress Sarah Hadland, and Highsnobiety editorial director Christopher Morency and girlfriend stylist Bonnie Langedijk – travelled down to West Wittering, joined by our founders Adam Shapiro, Dan May and Gautam Rajani. Snaking through the British countryside from London in their own automobiles, it was part of the SMR Days Road Trip, a summer-long campaign which imagines SMR Days back where it was meant to be – on the road. Each wore clothes from our Summer 2021 collection, which launched in May, spending a day by the water and taking over one of the beach huts for an afternoon in the sunshine with friends.
West Wittering is a place particularly special to our founders – not least creative director Dan May, whose own home is close to the village, and who draws inspiration from the stretch of shoreline for SMR Days’ collections. Memories of days on the beach – in rain or shine – inspired this season’s Wittering jacket, a riff on the workwear jacket crafted from ivory herringbone cotton, decorated with a vivid blue tie-dye pattern. Everything in the collection is named after one of our founder’s favourite beaches, though it’s perhaps the Wittering jacket which feels the most special of all.
Here, alongside photographs of the trip, the guests share a memory of West Wittering and dream of future road trips further from home.
“Raising a glass to cheers new friends while watching a seaside sunset really can’t be beaten. As for where’s next, we’ve always hoped to go on an extended road trip of the West Coast of the USA, from Seattle down to San Diego, and maybe continuing on through the coast of Mexico. Tacos, salt water and sun. One day!”
“There are so many magical places in the UK and I don’t think we give this country enough praise for its beauty. For me though West Sussex is right up there at the top of the list and for beaches West Wittering is too – it goes on for miles, and a walk around East Head come rain or shine is a weekend highlight anytime of year. I was happy to share this magic with the wonderful SMR Days Road Trip crew”
“To curate the right group of people is hard, especially coming out of a pandemic where meeting new people is not on top of many people’s priority list. Seeing old friends, meeting new ones, all dressed like summer in SMR Days was the highlight. When the right group is put together, the schedule doesn’t matter.
“The perfect road trip is about the right friends, old and new, sun, chic clothes, Adam’s road trip list – I still have songs I play every day because of that trip – and drinks. That’s all you need.”