The (very) British fashion brand Paul Smith – “Classic with a twist. Easy on the eye, but always with a little sense of surprise” as how the designer describes his own label – started out in a 12ft square shop in Birmingham en is now sold in 72 countries around the world. Even in you’re a fan of the brand, there might be some facts you probably didn’t know yet.
There are always hidden treasures
You can recognize a Paul Smith sock anywhere – by it’s multicolored stripes – and also a Paul Smith printed shirt isn’t difficult to spot. Other signature aspects of the brand are less notable, but if you take a look at the inside of a Paul Smith’s corduroy men’s jacket for example, there is always a ‘hidden treasure’ to be found – a print or pocket with a twist – or there’s an amazing pattern hidden in the inside of a shirt’s collar.
Paul Smith showed his first collection in a hotel room in Paris
In 1976 Paul Smith showed his first menswear collection under the Paul Smith label in Paris, in a little hotel room acting as the showroom. Paul Smith: “I put some black fabric on the bed and had six t-shirts lying on the bed and two jackets hanging in the closet. I was sleeping there as well.”
Every Paul Smith-shop has another design and interior
There are more than 200 Paul Smith-shops around the world and each one is totally different. From a shocking pink building with movie set styling on Melrose Avenue in LA, to a Japanese garden at the heart of the Jingumae store in Tokyo. Paul Smith: “So that way, you would want to visit a Paul Smith-shop in every city, because you don’t know what you’re gonna find.” The clothing collections in the stores are complemented by a selection of jewellery, books, art and antiques. Even in his first 12ft square shop he sold more than just clothes because otherwise, he thought, people wouldn’t come in.
Paul Smith photographs most of his advertising campaigns himself
Although this fall photographer Viviane Sassen shot Paul Smith’s ad campaign, he usually does his own photography. From a young age, he loved taking photos. Besides photographing his own campaigns, he also photographs for interior and fashion magazines and although he doesn’t email, he does have an Instagram-account.
The Paul Smith logo isn’t really Paul Smith’s signature
The Paul Smith signature wordmark isn’t his own handwritten signature. The design was actually written by Zena, a friend of Paul’s.
Paul Smith also designs (prints for) objects
Paul Smith designs clothes, accessories and shoes for his label and has his own fragrance, but in his collaborations he has also designed a limited edition Leica camera, rugs, bicycles, furniture, an Evian bottle, personalised a Mini cooper and redesigned a Land Rover.
Photo: a replica of Paul Smith's office at Soho Londen at the exhibition 'Hello, my name is Paul Smith' - by Regina1 loves it