I’ve become a huge fan of Paul Smith, both the brand and the man himself. It all started when I received a trademark vividly striped shirt for my 40th birthday, and later when I discovered his sale shop in Avery Row and ended up ‘investing’ in a pair of boots.
Since then, any trip to London for me isn’t complete without a quick gander at this special little shop - or, if I’m really lucky, a few frantic hours spent amongst the crowds at his warehouse sale in Holborn.
It’s stylish, well-constructed, quality clobber, built like it will last a good few years, not just a single season. Reflecting an inherent classic tailoring heritage that is a core hallmark of the brand, with a generous sprinkling of eccentricity and witty humour. This sums up for me one of our greatest, and definitely my favourite, British brands.
We had the pleasure of hearing Sir Paul (the Queen is also a fan) talk at the Here 2012 conference where he regaled the audience with his frank, amusing and insightful views on creativity. Above all, he came across as a remarkably self-effacing and unpretentious man, and given his enormous success across the globe in an industry that can be anything but modest, that really is very remarkable indeed.
A few weeks ago I made a beeline for The Design Museum to experience his blockbuster retrospective show ‘Hello, I'm Paul Smith’ and recommend you do the same. It really is a must-see. You’ll be highly inspired and hugely entertained, even if you’re not a groupie like me. Thanks to its popularity they’ve extended its run until 22 June, so you’ve plenty of time. If you’re into Instagram take a look at Paul's personal feed #takenbypaul