With a passion for sport and racing cycling, it may have seemed unlikely for Paul Smith to create one of the most well known British brands in the world. At 16, he had no qualifications or plans for a career, so his father encouraged him to take on a clothing warehouse job in his home city of Nottingham. After a terrible cycling accident, Paul Smith’s racing dreams were shattered, however, whilst recovering in hospital for over 6 months, he became friendly with a group of people, and arranged to meet up with them at a local pub which so happened to be popular with students from the local art college, who introduced him to the world of fashion.

Then inspired by art and music, Paul Smith wanted to embrace this colourful lifestyle, and became full of ideas and excitement. After two years in the industry, Paul Smith was managing a boutique in Nottingham, yet was encouraged by his then girlfriend (and now wife) to use his savings to open a small shop. By attending evening classes in tailoring, and with help from his fashion graduate girlfriend, Paul Smith designed his first menswear collection, debuting it in Paris in 1976.

After being in the business for over 40 years, Paul Smith has been able to firmly establish himself as a world renowned designer, regularly creating trends in both fashion and popular culture. By mixing his sense of humour with traditional classics, he has created a collection of clothing that’s truly unique.

Designed in London and Nottingham, the brand stay true to their British roots, and the eclectic collections featuring a focus on tailoring reflect this. Still a major player in the company, Paul Smith is both a a designer and chairman, keeping the personal touch that many large brands tend to lose.

Paul Smith is now known for their traditional British styling of creating “classics with a twist”, and in 2010 the brand launched their Junior collection, which features playful graphics and classic stripes in a range of casual and tailored styles that are perfect for any occasion.