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The classic straight suit with a floral print lining, the multi-coloured stripe on a men’s sock, the ‘well-made, good quality, interesting fabric, easy to wear. No bullshit clothing.” This is the style of Paul Smith.

Paul Smith has become known for taking traditional British tailoring to the younger slicker crowds by incorporating classic design with a quirky underlining. He takes the traditional and mixes it with the modern to create a look that is forever fresh and sought after. "It is as though he possesses some inner equivalent of the Houndsditch Clothes Exchange - not a museum, but a vast, endlessly recombinant jumble sale in which all the artefacts of his nation and culture constantly engage in a mutual exchange of code," writes the US novelist William Gibson of the Paul Smith style.

It all started in the 1960s. As a young lad, fresh out of school, Paul Smith was summoned by his late father Harold Smith to work as an errand boy in a local Nottingham clothing warehouse. Smith had little interest in fashion at that point, following one star as his rising dream to become a racing cyclist. Little did he know he was to become the single most consistently successful British designer with an estimated £300 million company revenue as of 2006, selling products in over 200 shops worldwide.

In his late teens, an accident left Smith unfit for the cycling career, which in turn allowed his life to take another turn. He began to mix with the art college students “and became interested in things like art and fashion.” What seems incredible is that some 6- 7 years later by the tender age of 24, encouraged by his then girlfriend, (now wife) Pauline Denyer, Smith took the risk and put down his hard-earned £600 savings to open his first shop.....


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Comment by BexBella on February 11, 2009 at 7:52am
Great post....thanks for sharing. Rags to riches and a Brit success story, double whammy :-)

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