Paul Smith. Photo: The Telegraph
At 17, Paul Smith was a self-described “wimp” who had never been to the pub or left his small town of Nottinghamshire. At 67, Sir Paul Smith is the chief executive, principal shareholder and designer of a label that bears his name in 82 countries and some 540 shops. Dressed in a floral-print shirt and a navy blazer with some “snazzy” lining, Smith faced a roomful of stylish New Yorkers (Simon Doonan included) at the private workspace collective Neue House, as he reflected on the success of his “classic with a twist” menswear — and menswear-inspired womenswear — that has become one of the most successful, independently-owned British brands in history.