Paul Smith: Embrace fashion cycles
Sir Paul Smith is happy to roll with the wheels of fashion.
The legendary designer has been a staple in British style since the 70s and was even awarded a knighthood by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 for his services to fashion.
It was the 70s Paul turned to for his most recent catwalk shows, and the designer is thoroughly enjoying a runway resurgence as of late.
“I’ve put a very young team in under me - and we have a very good Paul Smith archive in Nottingham. When I took some of the younger artists, who are 20 or 21, to the archive, they embraced the things that maybe my age group would reject because we’ve already done it. So you’re starting to see bigger shapes again, more relaxed jackets, wider lapels and double-breasted designs. That’s just the wheel of fashion rolling around," Paul smiled to WWD.
As well as continuing to design, Paul also spends time mentoring young talent.
Two of his recent style students are Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton of the men’s wear brand Agi & Sam. The label bagged the Woolmark Prize British Isles regional final for men’s wear last month, and Agape dishes on some of the advice Paul bestowed on them. “He told us that you can never be successful if you’re too creative, and that you need to find a balance with commerce,” Agape revealed.
For Paul, remaining in touch with the basics of business is also what keeps him going.
“It is very easy for many designers to distance themselves too much from the nitty-gritty, and you can’t really do that
"Everything’s under one roof here, so the joy is I’ve got marketing, social media, shop design, press office, sales, as well as all the design team. We do all our fabric design here as well," he said of his London headquarters.