Paul Smith (fashion designer)

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For other people of the same name, see Paul Smith (disambiguation).
Paul Smith
Born (1946-07-05) 5 July 1946 (age 68)
Beeston, Nottinghamshire
Nationality British
Occupation Fashion designer
Labels Paul Smith
Paul Smith logo

Sir Paul Smith, CBE, RDI, (born 5 July 1946) is an English fashion designer, whose business and reputation is founded upon his menswear. He is both commercially successful and highly respected within the fashion industry.[1] Smith was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000, after nearly three decades as a menswear icon.

Founding of the company[edit]

At the age of 16, with only the minimal experience of a menial job at the local clothing warehouse in his native Nottingham. Smith was managing his first boutique in Nottingham and with the encouragement of his girlfriend Pauline Denyer (now wife) and a small amount of savings, opened a tiny shop in 1970. Paul started to take evening classes for tailoring and with the help of Pauline (an RCA fashion graduate), Paul was able to create what he wanted. By 1976 Paul showed his first menswear collection in Paris under the Paul Smith label.

In business for over 40 years Smith had established himself as a pre-eminent British designer. His firm is responsible for 14 different collections; Paul Smith for men and women, PS by Paul Smith, Paul Smith Jeans, Paul Smith London, R.Newbold (Japan only), Paul Smith Black, Paul by Paul Smith, Paul Smith Accessories, and Paul Smith Shoe. Paul Smith rugs, china, spectacles and fragrance are made under license. Designed in Nottingham and London, the Paul Smith collections are primarily produced in England and Italy, with the fabrics used are mainly of Italian, French and British origin.

The Paul Smith shops reflect the character of Paul and his designs, an unmistakable Englishness augmented by the unexpected. Each and every Paul Smith shop is totally different, from a shocking pink building with movie set styling on Melrose Avenue, LA, to a Japanese garden at the heart of the Jingumae store in Tokyo. Each shop is a showcase for diverse and eccentric objects complementing the clothing collections with an extensive selection of jewellery, books, art and antiques.

Paul explains his eclectic aesthetic: "We're a leading and uniquely British brand. We mix up one-off antiques with high quality tailoring: the chair you sit on when you buy a suit is for sale and we can wrap the suit and have the chair waiting for you when you get home."

Paul Smith is global - the collection is wholesaled to 66 countries and has 17 shops in England. Paul Smith shops are found in London, Paris, Milan, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Antwerp, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Korea, U.A.E., Panama – and over 200 throughout Japan. Paul remains fully involved in the Japanese business; designing the clothes, choosing the fabrics, approving the shop locations and overseeing every development within the company. Paul Smith also has impressive and diverse showrooms in London, Paris, Milan, New York, and Tokyo.

Paul Smith continues to be an integral part of the company; he is both designer and chairman. Paul Smith is continually involved in every aspect of the business and as a result, Paul Smith Limited retains a personal touch often lost in companies of a similar size.

Partnerships and other business pursuits[edit]

Paul Smith shop on King Edward Street, Leeds.

In 2007, Smith began working with the UK based boutique cycle clothing retailer, Rapha.[2] Smith designed a range of cycle clothing in association with Rapha, including a jersey to celebrate the rare start of the Tour de France in London.[3]

Paul Smith provided suits for the Manchester United team in 2009.[4]

In 2011, Paul Smith redesigned the Lasonic i931 boombox, giving it a white look with Smith's trademark multicolour look.[5]

In 2014, Paul Smith collaborated with iconic lamp manufacturer Anglepoise®. In an interpretation of the classic Anglepoise® Type75™ lamp the fashion designer and collector has applied a strikingly colourful treatment, clearly articulating the modernist masterpiece with a playful colour-by-component approach in deep grey, olive, fuchsia, cornflower and lime tones.[6]


  1. ^ "Paul Smith : Fashion Designer (1946–)". Design Museum. 
  2. ^ Rodale, Inc. (August 2007). Bicycling. Rodale, Inc. pp. 38–. ISSN 0006-2073. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Gay, Jason (1 April 2009). "In These Clothes, You Can Go Far". New York Times. 
  4. ^ Millar, Jamie (27 May 2011). "Paul Smith kits out Manchester United". GQ (UK). Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Paul Smith x LASONiC i931". Trend Hunter. 12 November 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Thompson, Henrietta (22 May 2014). "Paul Smith in the spotlight with Anglepoise". The Daily Telegraph (London: TMG). ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Paul Smith at Wikimedia Commons