Paul Smith managed his first boutique in Nottingham and with the encouragement of his girlfriend Pauline Denyer (now wife) and a small amount of savings, opened a tiny shop in 1970. Paul started to take evening classes for tailoring and with the help of Pauline (an RCA fashion graduate), Paul was able to create what he wanted. By 1976 Paul showed his first menswear collection in Paris under the Paul Smith label.
In business for over 40 years, Paul Smith has established himself as the pre-eminent British designer. Paul Smith has an ability to anticipate, and even spark off trends not only fashion but in the wider context of popular culture. He manages to transmit a genuine sense of humour and mischief mixed with his love of tradition and the classics.
Today there are 14 different collections; Paul Smith for men and women, PS by Paul Smith, Paul Smith Jeans, Paul Smith London, R.Newbold (Japan only), Paul Smith Black, Paul by Paul Smith, Paul Smith Accessories, Paul Smith Shoe. Paul Smith rugs, china, spectacles and fragrance are made under license.
Designed in Nottingham and London, the Paul Smith collections are primarily produced in England and Italy while the fabrics used are mainly of Italian, French and British origin. The Paul Smith shops reflect the character of Paul and his designs, an unmistakable Englishness augmented by the unexpected. Each and every Paul Smith shop is totally different, from a shocking pink building with movie set styling on Melrose Avenue, LA, to a Japanese garden at the heart of the Jingumae store in Tokyo. Each shop is a showcase for diverse and eccentric objects complementing the clothing collections with an extensive selection of jewellery, books, art and antiques.
Paul Smith is global - the collection is wholesaled to 66 countries and has 17 shops in England. Paul Smith shops are found in London, Paris, Milan, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Antwerp, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, U.A.E. – and over 200 throughout Japan.
Paul remains fully involved in the Japanese business; designing the clothes, choosing the fabrics, approving the shop locations and overseeing every development within the company. Paul Smith also has impressive and diverse showrooms in London, Paris, Milan, New York, and Tokyo. Paul Smith continues to be an integral part of the company; he is both designer and chairman. Paul Smith is continually involved in every aspect of the business and as a result, Paul Smith Limited retains a personal touch often lost in companies of a similar size. Read more about Paul Smith at paulsmith.co.uk
Photo by James Mooney
Anglepoise® has collaborated three times with the renowned British designer Paul Smith, creating three editions of the Type 75™ Desk Lamp. The collaboration is a stunning interpretation of the classic Anglepoise® Type 75™ desk lamp, combining the unmistakable form and function of an Anglepoise® with the quintessential style of Britain’s foremost designer.
Created for Anglepoise® by leading British industrial product designer, Sir Kenneth Grange, the timeless Type 75™ design provides the perfect canvas for a designer known for his mastery of colour. Its streamlined, modernist form has become the designer’s palette and its no-frills, mechanical functionality is highlighted by his playful colour-by-component approach.
"It has been brilliant to work on this project. Anglepoise® is such an iconic piece of British design, I am honoured to have been involved." - Paul Smith
“Anglepoise®, never out of fashion and a product that will last and last, and Paul Smith, a special slant on design with invention, humour and some charming eccentricity: a unique design partnership of two great British companies.” - Sir Kenneth Grange
If Edition One, with its sunny combination of cornflower, fuchsia and lime is evocative of summer, then Edition Two is its alter ego, evoking the deep, rich hues of autumn. Combined with deep slate and cool grey, the striking mix of sumptuous, jewel-like colours is smart, restrained, sophisticated. Add a bold accent of orange - that element of surprise so intrinsic to Paul Smith style – and the colours take on a new intensity.
With its strident primary colour palette and engaging, angular Anglepoise® form, Edition Three evokes the visual vocabulary of Dutch painter Mondrian’s De Stijl style of art and launches to coincide with the run up to next year’s De Stijl centennial.
Set alongside the fresh, floral hues of Edition One and the rich, jewel-like tones of Edition Two, this new Type 75™ - Paul Smith Edition both complements and contrasts; its hundred-year-old colour palette looks fresh, dynamic and contemporary.