Paul Smith

U.K. (1946)
Paul Smith is an internationally revered designer known mostly for fashion but also for lending his signature style to a wide range of items, from textiles and furniture to motorcycles and cars. Considered by many to be the leader in British fashion design of his generation, he was named a Royal Designer for Industry in 1991 and knighted by the queen in 2000.

Born in Nottingham, England, the son of a draper, Smith was an avid cyclist of 17 aspiring to professional racing when a serious accident changed the course of his life. Later, at a local pub, he met Pauline Denyer, a fashion graduate of the Royal College of Art, who helped him open his first store in 1970 and design some of his early collections before becoming his partner.

Smith gradually took over design duties himself and showed his first major menswear collection in 1976 in Paris, already bearing his “classic with a twist” flourish, as he termed it. He later expanded into childrenswear, womenswear and fragrances. In 2002, his Mondo collection for Italian furniture maker Cappellini was unveiled at Salone del Mobile in Milan, marking the beginning of many collaborations beyond fashion. “After working with clothes for so many years,” he said, “it was nice to work with hard materials.”

In 2003, he began what would become a long relationship with Maharam to design textiles, typically bearing his signature stripe pattern. He’s collaborated with several British companies: For Triumph, he restyled the Bonneville motorcycle; for Land Rover, a special edition of the Defender SUV; and for Anglepoise, the Paul Smith Edition of the Type 75 Desk Lamp.
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