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Paul Smith

Designer, Paul Smith

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Biography

Sir Paul Smith, a pillar of the London design scene and a veteran designer has built a global British brand that now has twelve lines, including ready-to-wear for men and women, a denim line, a watch line, accessories, shoes and fragrances. He has granted a number of licenses and has collaborated with Rapha, Maharam and Cappellini.

Known for his distinctive multi coloured striped visual signature , with designs sold at flagships in London, Paris, New York, Milan and Tokyo, among over 200 other stores. Smith is widely credited for his eye-catching storefront designs that match his equally vibrant design aesthetic, , with the bright pink Paul Smith Los Angles store that has become “the most instagrammed building in California.”

Smith had originally intended to be a cyclist; his first job in the industry was in a clothing warehouse in which he had no interest, the only enjoyable aspect of the job being the cycle to and from work. During a six-month stay in hospital, due to a cycling accident, Smith made new friends who, upon their recovery, introduced him to a pub which was at the time popular with art and design students. It was here that Smith decided he wanted to be part of the creative world and become a fashion designer. Encouraged by his then girlfriend, Pauline, Smith had saved up £600 to first start selling old designer clothing in a small Byard Lane Nottingham store in 1970s. His collection included brands such as Kenzo, who Smith claims to have been the first owner of in England, at the time0. In 2020, the brand is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary after decades of international success.

Smith started to take evening classes for tailoring with Gordon Valentine Tipton in Nottinghamshire who showed him how to cut cloth as well as the basics. Seven years after opening his first store, the designer took to Paris with a sizeable collection of clothes. Later on, Paul Smith joined Lincroft Kilgour in Savile Row after being spotted by BFC chairman Harold Tillman, where his designs were worn by celebrities including footballer George Best and David Bowie.

With the help of his then girlfriend, now wife, Pauline Denyer, who was a Royal College of Art fashion graduate, and a small amount of savings, he managed to open his first shop 10 Byard Lane, Nottingham in 1970. In 1976 Smith debuted his first menswear collection in Paris, under the Paul Smith label. In 1998 Paul showed his first women's collection at London Fashion Week, the women's mainline collection continues to this day.

With the help of his then girlfriend, now wife, Pauline Denyer, who was a  Royal College of Art fashion graduate, and a small amount of savings, he managed to open his first shop 10 Byard Lane, Nottingham in 1970. In 1976 Smith debuted his first menswear collection in Paris, under the Paul Smith label. In 1998 Paul showed his first women's collection at London Fashion Week, the women's mainline collection continues to this day.

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Vital Statistics

Born
5 July 1946
Nationality

United Kingdom

Location
United Kingdom

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