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Iconic Stripes:

The History of Paul Smith

With over 50 years in the industry, we discover the history into what made Paul Smith the iconic British designer he is today. 

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THE PAUL SMITH TIMELINE


- 1961 -

PAUL SMITH LEAVES SCHOOL

Paul Smith left school aged 15 with the ambition to become a professional racing cyclist.

 

- 1963 -

THE START OF SOMETHING NEW

Aged 17 Paul suffered a near-fatal bike accident, which resulted in him spending six months in hospital. During this time, he made friends with people from the local art college who introduced him into the world of fashion.

 

- 1970 -

THE FIRST BOUTIQUE IS OPENED

Aged 24, he opened his very first store in his hometown of Nottingham with the help of his girlfriend (now wife) Pauline Denyer. This was the first small store outside of London to stock major fashion brands such as Kenzo and Margaret Howell. During this time, Smith took tailoring classes that would help shape his future designs.

 

- 1976 -

THE FIRST MENSWEAR COLLECTION

The designer showed his first menswear collection in Paris under his own name. This was the start of something new and exciting for the brand.

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- 1979 -

THE FIRST PAUL SMITH STORE OPENS

In the heart of London's Covent Garden on Floral Street, Paul opened his first store which is still there today. By 1987 he had opened four stores including one in New York.


- 1990 -

PAUL SMITH LAUNCHES A CHILDREN'S COLLECTION

The designer ventured into childrenswear, creating both casual and tailored pieces for little boys in a one off collection.


- 1993 -

PAUL SMITH LAUNCHES A WOMENSWEAR LINE

After discovering that 15% of customers buying his pieces were women, he decided to launch his first womenswear collection keeping his classic modern cuts, but with a more feminine edge.


- 2000 -

PAUL SMITH RECIEVES A KNIGHTHOOD

Receiving a knighthood in honor of his work, Sir Paul Smith became only the second ever fashion designer to receive such an accolade. He also married his partner of thirty years, Pauline on the very same day.

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- 2006 -

THE SIGNATURE STRIPE

The iconic striped print was intended to only be around for one season, however, due to its popularity, it has become a staple in his designs. It has been reinvented a number of times in different colours but is most recognisable in the original bright rainbow shades.


- 2010 -

PAUL SMITH JUNIOR IS BORN

After 10 years away from children's fashion, Smith launched a childrenswear brand for both boys and girls. The focus behind the new brand was to take bright and punchy designs and combine them with inspiration from his main collections to create a line for babies and children.

 

- 2016 TO PRESENT -

PAUL SMITH CELBRATES A LANDMARK

In July 2016, Sir Paul Smith turned 70 and celebrates over half a century as one of the most iconic British menswear designers in history. 

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