During What Design Can Do in Amsterdam I had the honor to meet Sir Paul Smith during an intimate meet & greet. Such a humble and humoristic personality with a successful business worldwide but no arrogance at all. Every morning at 05 o’clock he gets up for a swim and a bike ride. Yes, Paul Smiths loves cycling. ‘ Still got legs of a teenager!’
During the conversation he talked about his father who bought him his first bike and camera when he was eleven years old, and that his love for photography and cycling started from there. Paul wanted to become a pro but unfortunately due to an accident he had to quit.
The love for fashion came when he met a few art students in a local pub in London, and his wife who studied couture at the Royal Academy of Arts. To make a living he fulfilled every job you can think off, just to open his first clothing store, and later to start his own fashion label. His wife helped him with designing, since he had no knowledge in this field what so ever . And with huge success, though again very modest in picking his words: ‘ I’m not like Chanel or anything’ . Nowadays Paul Smith owns more then 300 stores worldwide, shoots all the campaigns himself and started interesting collaborations with other labels, but where he can control everything. You would not see a Paul Smith hotel or anything: ‘ If people might eat a bad steak they say: I ate such a bad steak at Paul Smith. Which wasn’t even me!’