Paul Smith

Federico Marchetti, chairman and chief executive officer of Yoox Net-a-porter Group

“I fondly remember the warm welcome that Paul gave me when I first moved to London in 2016 to lead Net-a-porter and Mr Porter. He was quick to help get me into the swim of things in the city, both on a business and personal level. Paul is a keen swimmer like me and shared some great tips on the best pools in London! Business-wise, he remains an important partner of Yoox Net-a-porter Group, bringing British style to our online customers worldwide.”

José Neves, founder, ceo and co-chair of Farfetch

“Congratulations to Paul for such a long and inspiring career. We’ve had the pleasure of working with Paul Smith for a number of years, as one of our earliest brand partners. We’ve worked together to bring his iconic tailoring and aesthetic to customers all around the world through Farfetch. The brand’s blend of tradition and modernity feels so uniquely British and yet delights our customers everywhere.”

Joan Burstein, founder of Browns

“My first memory of Paul was seeing him arrive with his bicycle in the Seventies when he was working on product development with my son Simon. What strikes me most about Paul is that he hasn’t changed at all; he is charming, quirky with a great sense of humor. His well-deserved success has in no way gone to his head, and I am proud to count him and Pauline his wife amongst my friends.”

Paul Smith on the runway after his spring 2007 show.

Paul Smith on the runway after his spring 2007 show.  Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

Simon Burstein, founder of The Place London

“Paul Smith helped me develop the Browns men’s collection back in the late Seventies when he had a small shop in Nottingham. We shared the passion for art and clothes and sourcing manufacturers which took us to the most obscure places, Whaley Bridge for workwear jeans, Leicester for knitwear, Northampton for shoes and Leeds for clothing. It was fun and we had lots of laughs. I don’t think we change and Paul has expanded his world brilliantly with the same passion and values that he had in the Seventies.”

See Also: Riding Into Paul Smith’s Colorful World

Dylan Jones, editor in chief of GQ and GQ Style U.K.

“When he started, there was high street and there was Bond Street, and there was nothing else. Not only did he define a new type of men’s wear, but Paul also was and remain generally egalitarian. He always used to say, ‘I sell to architects and I sell to brickies.’ He was probably more eloquent than that, but it was true.

And also everyone takes from the classic with a twist, and juxtaposition in these tribes these days, but he did that first. He was doing it in the late Sixties. No one did that. Plus he manages to capture the whole late Seventies yuppy guys zeitgeist without making it unpleasant and making it generally aspirational.

As a man, as a consumer, fashion designers if they are designing men’s wear, tend to design on their bodies. If you look at the Seventies, everything was like that. It was like the Armani shape, wide shoulder, skinny waist. For me, it was a godsend, because he designs for skinny guys.”

WATCH: How Paul Smith Finds Inspiration

Adrian Joffe

“He’s one of the bright shiny satellites that light up the rest. He is a world of his own, but very important because he is independent. There are very few independent people like Paul now. When we are at a dinner or anything, we always have a great chat when I see him.”

Caroline Rush, ceo of British Fashion Council

“It is fantastic to see Paul Smith turn 50 this year. It is a quintessentially British brand and one of the very few that has remained family-owned for so many years. Sir Paul Smith is a unique designer and a formidable Ambassador for British fashion around the world. His commitment to supporting emerging talent and investing in young creatives is remarkable. We wish him many more years to come.”

Tom and Ruth Chapman, founders of Matches Fashion

“Congratulations to Sir Paul on building and sustaining his iconic, deeply British brand of wit, color, creativity and craftsmanship while remaining one of the warmest and funniest humans. Deep respect and love from us both.”

Designer Paul Smith at his spring 2010 show at Claridge's.

Designer Paul Smith at his spring 2010 show at Claridge’s.  Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

Simon Longland, head of men’s wear at Harrods

“Paul Smith brought a sense of ease, modernity, fun and youth to tailoring that had not been seen before within the traditional menswear market. His uniquely British approach and sensibility contrasted with his unique eye for playful details injected the industry with a fresh perspective to the way that men dress and that is still portrayed in the brand’s aesthetic today.”

Jack Cassidy, head of buying – men’s wear at Selfridges

“Paul Smith has long been an integral part of our men’s wear edit with strong signatures and an instantly recognizable point of view. It is unquestionably a quintessential British brand, all the while infused with Paul’s own sense of humor.”

See Also: Looking Back at Paul Smith’s Fashion Career Timeline

Julie Gilhart, chief development officer at Tomorrow

“Paul Smith embodied the spirit of Barneys — taste, luxury and humor. His team was a family like Barneys so we connected like that. We played fashion together but made business. He was our irreverent Savile Row. The business was always much larger for men’s but Paul offered something new and novel for women — tailoring with a twist that no one else did. Through all his product categories he was truly Barneys’ Wes Anderson.“

Raffaello Napoleone, ceo of Pitti Immagine (in reference to the GREAT Britain campaign)

“Sir Paul Smith is GREAT man. Sir Paul Smith is GREAT visionary. Sir Paul Smith is GREAT fashion enthusiast. Sir Paul Smith is GREAT Italian fan. Sir Paul Smith is GREAT Britain.”

Read more from WWD: 

Paul Smith Reflects on 50 Years of Love, Toil — and No Tears

Stripes, Spectacles and Special Agents: Paul Smith’s Work Outside Fashion

Paul Smith Loves Art, but Don’t Call Him a Collector

WATCH: Fashion Icon Zandra Rhodes Reflects on 50 Years of Design

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