Paul Smith (fashion designer)

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Sir Paul Smith
Paul Smith, cropped.jpg
Paul Brierley Smith

(1946-07-05) 5 July 1946 (age 72)
Paul Smith
PS Paul Smith
Spouse(s)Pauline Denyer (m. 2000)
Paul Smith shop on King Edward Street, Leeds
A striped shirt designed by the Paul Smith company
A Paul Smith shirt for men in a floral pattern, with cufflinks
A T-shirt from the Paul Smith Jeans casual-wear range
Paul Smith's designs often make use of striped patterns.
Interview with Paul Smith about the exhibition 'Hello, My name is Paul Smith'
Maggie's Centre Nottingham, designed by Piers Gough. Smith helped design the interior.
Paul Smith Boutique, Las Vegas

Sir Paul Smith CBE RDI (born 5 July 1946) is a British fashion designer. His reputation is founded on his designs for men's clothing, but his business has expanded into other areas too.[1] Smith was made a Royal Designer for Industry in 1991,[2] and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000.[3]

His eponymous fashion company was founded in 1970 and has expanded into over 70 countries, selling its products via standalone stores, departments in high-end stores or malls, along with airport terminals, as well as the e-commerce section of its international website. Some of his brand's physical stores are recognized for their uniqueness and eccentricity, including the much-photographed vibrant, fluorescent pink flagship store in Los Angeles.[4]

Early life[edit]

Born in 1946 in Nottingham, England. Paul Smith's ambition was to become a professional cyclist.[5] He left school at the age of 15 to work in a Nottingham clothing warehouse while practicing cycling outside of work hours. He cycled to and from work, until the age of 17 where he was in a major cycling accident that put him in the hospital for close to six months. During his recovery, friends inspired him to the world of art and fashion.[6] In fact cycling is often referenced to in his work over the years. From this point he started to take classes in tailoring and eventually worked with a Savile Row tailor, Lincroft Kilgour.[7]


Paul Smith opened his very own shop called Paul Smith “Vêtement Pour Homme”[8] in Nottingham in 1970, which sold established clothing labels, alongside pieces that Paul Smith had designed himself. The store was just 3 square meters and was located at 6 Byard Lane in Nottingham.

In 1976 Paul traveled to Paris to showcase his first men's collection. This featured a mix of casual and semi-formal wear. After that Paul Smith's brand continued to grow and he opened his flagship London store in 1979 on Floral Street in Covent Garden, London.[9]

'Paul Smith Women' his first womenswear collection was launched in 1993, after reports of women coming into his stores buying smaller sizes to wear themselves.[10]

The first Japan store opened in Tokyo in 1984, growing over the years to 165 stores across the country.[11]

Smith opened his first shop in New York on Fifth Avenue in 1987, the company now has four shops in the state; the flagship on Greene Street as well as Williamsburg, Bleecker Street and Brookfield Place.[12]

In 1993, Smith took over a 'workwear' clothing company R. Newbold[6] (established in 1885) and incorporated many of their designs into his new collection.

The start of his childrenswear collection started in 1990 with the launch of a one off collection for boys, including casual and tailored pieces.[13] In 2010, Paul Smith launched 'Paul Smith Junior' as a seasonal collection which often included remakes of his adult collections.[14]

In 1995, the Design Museum exhibited 'True Brit', a show marking 25 years of his business. The show then went on to Glasgow for the 'Festival of Design' and then moved to his hometown of Nottingham and put on display in Nottingham Castle.[15]

Smith published his first book, entitled You Can Find Inspiration in Everything in 2001.

The brand launched it's ecommerce site in 2004.[16]

In 2016, Smith's second book, Paul Smith's Cycling Scrapbook was released, which documents a personal history of the sport he is very passionate about.[17]

In January 2016, Paul Smith combined his men's and women's fashion shows, showcasing during Paris Fashion Week.[18]

His company continues to be an independent company, which Paul Smith owns a majority of to date.


Paul Smith has won numerous awards over the years, including:

Partnerships and other business pursuits[edit]

Paul Smith has been involved in multiple collaborations and partnerships over the years, including:


Smith worked with Italian furniture designer Cappellini to create a small homeware collection.[27]


Paul Smith's first collaboration with Maharam, the US textile brand, originally used in one of his suit designs, the two continue to work together on new ranges.[28]


Paul Smith teamed up with motorbike manufacturer Triumph, restyling the Bonneville T100 bike.[29]

Paul Smith redesigned the Lasonic i931 boombox, giving it a white look with Smith's trademark multicolour look.[30]

For the 60th anniversary of Penguin Classics, Paul Smith was asked to choose and redesign one cover, he chose Lady Chatterley's Lover by DH Lawrence.[31]


Paul Smith and Mercian Cycles collaborated on a series of bicycles.[32]

Paul Smith designed the chairs in screen 4 at Broadway Cinema, Nottingham.[33]


Smith began working with the UK based boutique cycle clothing retailer, Rapha.[34] 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.[35]


Paul Smith was the third designer, following Jean-Paul Gaultier, by redesigning a bottle for Evian water.[36]

Paul Smith provided suits for the Manchester United team.[37]


Paul Smith worked with Burton Snowboards including adding his signature stripe to boards and apparel.[38]


Paul Smith designed four limited edition prints to mark the release of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.[39]


Paul Smith joined Leica to design a limited edition Leica X2 camera.[40]

Curated by the Isle of Man Post Office, Paul Smith designed a set of stamps to mark the launch of the London Olympics.[41]

Paul Smith joined boot-maker John Lobb to create a series of Oxford, derby and loafers.[42]


Paul Smith was the official designer of the T-shirt for the David Bowie album 'The Next Day'.[43]

Paul Smith designed the leaders' jersey for Giro d'Italia including the Maglia Rosa.[44]


Paul Smith started a collaboration with Anglepoise, reimagining their iconic Type 75 lamp[45] as Edition One, he has since gone on to creating multiple editions.[46]


Paul Smith designed a series of T-shirts in collaboration with the release of David Bowies final album ★ (Blackstar).[47]

Paul Smith worked with Kask for the first time to design their 'Protone' aero helmet.[48] In 2018 a second helmet was released.

The first collaboration between Paul Smith & Caran d'Ache, launched 10 colours of their '849' pen. They went on to work together again in 2016.


Collaborated with the wine merchant, Berry Bros & Rudd on a limited edition range of bottles.[49]

Paul Smith collaborated with Land Rover, to design a bespoke Defender.

Paul Smith designed a new version of the cactus-shaped coat stand by Italian furniture designers Gufram.[50]

Edition Three of the Paul Smith & Anglepoise Collaboration was launched.

The second collaboration with Caran d'Ache was launched, adding 8 new colours to the collection.[51]


For the 120th anniversary of Globe-Trotter, Paul Smith collaborated with company by redesigning their 20" trolley case, this was first showcased at the Salone del Mobile.[52]

Celebrating 30 years of New Balance's 576 sneaker, Paul Smith redesigned with his iconic stripe design, along with a series of footballs and football boot.[53]

In tribute to his close friend Tony Gross, the company collaborated with Cutler & Gross on a limited edition collection of eyewear for his spring/summer 2019 show in Paris.[54]

Paul Smith worked with James Turner of Sports Purpose to cover a 1965 Porsche 911 with his famous multicoloured stripes, which went on to compete at Le Mans Classic and Goodwood Festival of Speed.[55][56][57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72][73][74][75]


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  35. ^ Gay, Jason (1 April 2009). "In These Clothes, You Can Go Far". New York Times.
  36. ^ "paul smith evian water bottle". designboom | architecture & design magazine. 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
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  43. ^ Magazine, Wallpaper* (2013-03-01). "Paul Smith designs the official T-Shirt for David Bowie's new album". Wallpaper*. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  44. ^ "Giro d'Italia unveils 2013 leaders' jerseys |". Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  45. ^ "Paul Smith tints Anglepoise desk lamp with clashing colours". Dezeen. 2014-05-21. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  46. ^ "Anglepoise + Paul Smith". Retrieved 2018-06-06.
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  48. ^ "Paul Smith collaborates with Kask to create special Protone helmets". 2015-09-29. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  49. ^ "BBR collaborates with fashion icon". Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  50. ^ "Paul Smith applies psychedelic colours to cactus coat stand". Dezeen. 2016-04-05. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  51. ^ "Paul Smith 849, Edition Two | Caran d'Ache of Switzerland". Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  52. ^ "Paul Smith and Globe-Trotter define great British design". Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  53. ^ "New Balance Celebrates 30 Years of the 576 With Paul Smith Collaboration". HYPEBEAST. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  54. ^ Ma, Fiona (2018-05-23). "Paul Smith Collaborates on Eyewear Collection With Cutler and Gross". WWD. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
  55. ^ Journal, The Gentleman's. "This Paul Smith Porsche will show its true colours at Goodwood this weekend". The Gentleman's Journal. Retrieved 2018-07-17.
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  58. ^ "Paul Smith - Person - National Portrait Gallery".
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  60. ^ "Search Results for England & Wales Births 1837-2006 -".
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  62. ^ Hopper, David (2014). The Branded Gentry; How A New Era of Entrepreneurs Made Their Names. Elliott and Thompson. ISBN 9781908739780.
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  69. ^ Glancey, Jonathan. "Maggie's Centre: the jolly green giant". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  70. ^ Vincent, Alice. "Paul Smith re-designs Richard Scarry classic". Retrieved 19 May 2015.
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Media related to Paul Smith at Wikimedia Commons