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13 November 2014

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You are in: Nottingham > People > Profiles > Tailored to Nottingham

Paul Smith

Tailored to Nottingham

World renowned designer Paul Smith on why Nottingham is still in fashion.

Paul Smith is one of the world's best known fashion designers.

He fell into designing almost by accident after meeting local arts students in a Nottingham pub, following a motorcycle accident.

Going global

They inspired Paul to begin designing his own clothes and by 1970 he started trading after a Nottingham tailor allowed him to use a backroom.

Now Paul Smith is a global phenomenon. His company is valued at over £100 million, with shops found all over the globe.

"My favourite address is Number 3 Red Square. You look out of my shop window and you've got Saint Basil's on the left, the Kremlin opposite and Lenin's tomb on the right... and I just think 'from Byard Lane [Nottingham] to Red Square', it does make me smile."

Credit crunch

However, the Honorary Freeman of Nottingham is still tied to the city. Paul has just expanded his warehouse operation here, with several hundred employees exporting three million items a year to 72 countries around the world.

"What people like about what we do is it's always so alternative.

"The current problem with the financial world is that it has become so formulaic, so greedy and so full of people doing things that don't have any meaning. We need to go back to traditional values of business."

Rich and famous

Paul is often asked to dress the rich and famous... the Kaiser Chiefs, Johnny Borrell from Razorlight, Franz Ferdinand... as well as the more mature musicians 'Mr Jagger and Mr Bowie'.

He's also suited and booted the England squad several times, and also supplies the Manchester United footballers with formal wear.

"I'm more of a Forest fan myself even though they're not doing so well this season. We need some Harry Potter magic."

What to wear

He's presently working on the fashions for 2010 but says that collection is still under wraps. However, he does reveal what we'll be wearing in 2009.

"For next summer we've got a lot of embroidery, embellishment, a lot of neck detail [for women]. Slim shapes for men, tapered trousers will still be popular."

You can hear more celebrity interviews with John Holmes on BBC Radio Nottingham every weekday afternoon between 14:00 – 16:30 on DAB digital radio, online and on 103.8FM and 95.5FM.

last updated: 12/12/2008 at 15:57
created: 12/12/2008

You are in: Nottingham > People > Profiles > Tailored to Nottingham

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