At the age of 16, Nottingham born Paul Smith was started a menial job at the local clothing warehouse, dreaming all the time of a career as a professional racing cyclist. A year later a terrible accident would put an end to that dream.
Six months in hospital followed and during this time Paul made some new friends, and after leaving hospital he arranged to meet them again in a local pub that was popular with the students from the local art college.
They talked of Mondrian, Warhol, Kokoshka, David Bailey and listened to the Rolling Stones, Miles Davis and much more. It was then Paul knew he wanted to be a part of this colourful world of ideas and excitement.
Within two years, Paul Smith was managing his first boutique in Nottingham and then opened a tiny shop in 1970. He started to take evening classes for tailoring and in 1976 showed his first menswear collection in Paris under the Paul Smith label.
Today there are 14 different collections, and all of this energy has now been channeled recently into a collaboration with the Tavernes Blanques based porcelain company Lladró.
Smith’s contribution is one of a series called ‘Guest’ featuring designers such as Tim Biskup from California and the Devilrobots team from Tokyo.
See also our article on Lladró and Hollywood: