For one of our subjects we have to identify six different mentors who inspire us in some way. I thought I'd do a post on each, the first of whom is Sir Paul Smith.
I first 'got to know' Paul (cause you know we're totally like best friends and everything) through reading an interview with him in the book 'Fashion Makers: Fashion Shapers' by Anne-Celine Jaeger - which, by the way, is an excellent book. I love his down-to-earth attitudes towards the fashion industry.
Some quotes from his interview:
'When we first started out it was just a way of earning a living and having an enjoyable life together. There was no vision at all. That hasn't really changed, we've certainly progressed, but not because we had a five-year plan or a big mission to take over the world, just because we've been honest.'
'We design clothes for people who are happy with their lot and not looking for an identity mark which says 'I am fashionable' or 'I am wealthy'
'They'll all be nicely made, no garment would have 18 zips or three arms, I don't do high fashion'
'So many designers have egos that are far too big. It's an important and enjoyable industry, but it is only clothes. We're not sewing arms back on or working in a cyclone disaster area. We're not saving lives. It's clothes and we're very privileged but, please, just keep your feet on the ground.'
'You have to have point of view. Nobody needs another writer, architect, designer. The world is full of them. If you've got a point of view, you've got a bit of a chance.'
For more of Paul's wit and wisdom, he writes two blogs, one for his own website and one for Vogue.co.uk
Reasons to love Paul Smith:
He likes reading Harry Potter because it's about right for his mental age.
His wife's name is Pauline. Paul & Pauline!
He designed a rubbish bin shaped like a bunny rabbit that lights up when you put rubbish in it.
He uses words like 'bonkers'.
He drives a Mini Cooper, and even designed a special edition Paul Smith Mini
His shop in LA is pink because he just decided one day that he wanted a pink shop.
He once designed a window installation using carboard cut-outs of himself, then stood in the window with the cut-outs.
His name is Paul and he is obsessed with cycling and the Tour de France, and he swims early in the mornings, so he's kind of like the designer version of my dad.
(click here for a quick & funny video about this photo)
He used to play with his train set when he was bored in meetings
He spontaneously decided to use Thriller at the end of a fashion show and danced around the runway with the models (video - you can see him dancing past at 0:11 and 0:40 and again at the end)
He knows Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin - AND there's a comical height difference.