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Happy Birthday, Sir Paul Smith!

Happy Birthday, Sir Paul Smith!

Sir Paul Smith was born in 1946 in Nottinghamshire, England. One of his early ambitions was to become a professional cyclist. He left school at the age of 15 to work in a Nottingham clothing warehouse.

A major cycling accident at the age of 17 put him in hospital for nearly six months and during his recovery, so the story goes, friends inspired him to enter the world of art and fashion.

Smith opened his own tiny shop called Paul Smith Vêtements Pour Homme in Nottingham in 1970, which sold established clothing labels, alongside pieces that Smith had designed. So that’s where his journey began, and it still continues today.

This stunning Phaidon monograph captures the unique spirit and creativity of the British fashion icon Sir Paul Smith through his personal selection of 50 inspirational objects and designs.

These carefully-chosen objects have impacted Sir Paul’s worldview, creative process, and adherence to a design approach that’s imbued with distinctly British wit and eccentricity.

Every featured item illuminates a different aspect of the designer’s work and leads to discussions on subjects as varied as the formality of a suit, the importance of teamwork, and the power of humor.

Opening with a foreword by Jonathan Ive, Paul Smith also includes unique contributions – personal letters, drawings, and photos – from fashion and design icons Manolo Blahnik, James Dyson, Martin Parr, John Pawson, and Alice Rawsthorn.

The book’s colorful cloth cover takes its inspiration from yarn wound around card, which, as well as being one of the 50 objects chosen by Sir Paul to feature in the book, also shows how he creates his famous and iconic stripes.

Exploring everything from Sir Paul’s very first show in Paris and his cult Floral Street store in London, to the evolution of his iconic stripes and his most recent collections and collaboration, this book provides a beautiful insight into the world of one of the most creative minds and fellow cyclist.

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