Paul Smith

Submitted by on Sep 2, 2015

«I do not consider myself a great businessman or an outstanding designer. And this fact saves me. Therefore, probably, I’m just good enough in both spheres».

Sir Paul Smith is one of the best designers of the United Kingdom. He was born on November 5th 1946 in the UK, in the city of Nottingham. Paul left school at his father’s insistence and got a job at clothes warehouse. He imagined himself a famous athlete in childhood and youth dreams. He was fond of cycling and dreamt to associate his life with it, but at the age of 17 he had an accident that caused Paul to forget about cycling forever. It took him a half of a year to recover from the accident. Paul found new friends in the hospital who talked about Mondrian, Warhol, David Bailey and listened Rolling Stones and Miles Davis. New experience opened the world of fashion and design to him and totally changed life landmarks of young Smith. From that moment he had an aim to become a part of the fashion world, and he started to conquest this summit with confidence.

«Returning to the warehouse, I started to arrange shows in the demonstration hall. The boss was really impressed and offered me to make the necessary purchases to create a collection of men’s clothing, and I was only seventeen then. » — says Paul. In 1964, young Smith helps a friend from the local art school in searches of the place for the first boutique in Nottingham, where he later becomes the general manager. In 1967, he leaves his parents’ home and continues to build his life together with Pauline Denyer who taught fashion in art school. Later Pauline becomes his wife. In 1970, Paul Smith opens his first shop which worked only two days a week. All the rest of the time Smith made ends meet by working as a freelance showcases’ designer, tailor and stylist. This man always had a sense of purpose and aggressiveness, so nothing could stop him on the way to a dream. Paul attends evening classes at a local college, and later begins to design his own clothes and orders its production to local factories. By 1974, Paul Smith finally opens a larger store in the center of Nottingham.

In 1976, he shows his collection in Paris. It was the birth of Paul Smith brand. The same year he purchases the first tiny shop on the outskirts of London, but he cannot open it due to financial problems.

In 1979 and 1982, Paul Smith gains experience not only as a designer but also as a businessman, corrects his own mistakes and opens two London stores in turn. He starts being noticed and recognized. In 1984, he signs an agreement with Itochu trading house (Japan), which significantly extends the boundaries of the brand, and promotes the young designer to the top of the fashion Olympus, by 2002 Paul Smith will have 200 shops and 500 wholesale customers in Japan. In 1987, selling his collections 10 years ahead, Smith opens his first boutique in New York City, USA.

In 1991, he opens his flagship store in Tokyo, and the first full-fledged boutique in Hong Kong. From this point on the life of Paul Smith turns into a cycle of interesting events: one after another his shops are opened throughout the globe, the brand launches new lines of clothing, accessories, watches and perfumes, and Paul himself receives numerous awards like Queen’s Award for Export in 1995 (he organizes a show at London’s Design Museum on this occasion), the exhibition of his works takes place at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum the same year, Conde Nast Italia publisher releases his book True Brit, and an exhibition of the same name opens at the Design Museum in London.

In 1997 he is invited to the advisory board Creative Industries Taskforce, consisting of the leading figures of the «creative» industries of England, receives The Honorary Freedom of the City of Nottingham award, in 1998 he opens London Fashion Week by women’s collection show.

November 24th 2000 is a special day in the life of Paul Smith. Paul receives a knighthood from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and becomes Sir.

In October of the following year Sir Paul Smith publishes the book "You can find inspiration in everything. Two years later, in 2003, British Style Awards gives him the title of the best men’s & women’s clothing designer.

In 2005, Sir Paul Smith receives Great Britons Award for Business, an award for his contribution to the fashion business development.

In 2007, new clothing store for men opens in Japan. The designer receives honorary RIBA Award, granted by the Royal Institute of British designers.

Despite the fact that Sir Paul Smith was not to become great cyclist, he found himself in this kind of sport. But his affection to it is not expressed in participating in races, but in participating in the life of cycling. Sir Paul Smith often produces limited collections of accessories for cyclists.

In 2008 Paul Smith in association with Rapha carries out the project, which results into a new version of the classic Rapha Grand Tour fashion gloves, and 2011 he creates a bicycle saddle for Kashimax Japanese Company, which manufactures replacement parts for bikes.

According to Paul Smith, true icons are well-dressed, self-confident people who live in harmony with the world and themselves. These are people who have wide-open eyes, who try to learn something new and interesting. «These people will not chase clothes which speak: «I earn a lot of money, I have a high social status. ». Clothes by Paul Smith brand are things that do not hide the human personality, and that, on the contrary, emphasize it.

Unlike many of today’s leading brands, Paul Smith Company never wears famous people for free to advertise itself; it does not send garments before festivals or premieres. Everyone can come to the party dedicated to the opening of a new boutique. Paul Smith personally asks PR-agencies to admit everyone, not only celebs, to the events.

Sir Paul Smith is involved in the company’s activities, being its driving force and key element. He is a talented designer and businessman. Today Paul Smith launches 12 collections. Boutiques of his brand around the world reflect Paul’s and his collections’ character. These are about unmistakable English style with witty and unexpected surprises. Paul Smith clothing collections, as well as a wide range of jewelry, books, art, antiques and countless number of interesting and just beautiful trinkets are offered in the outlets. Often, these are presented along with rare antique works of art from the personal collections of Paul Smith, which once again shows his love and truly reverent attitude to his work.

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