My guest today is fashion designer, Sir Paul Smith. Paul’s fashion company was founded back in 1970 and has expanded into 70 countries since. He was made a Royal Designer for Industry in 1991. More recently he released “Paul Smith”, a monograph book that captures his unique spirit and creativity, which we discuss in this podcast episode.
The 5 questions I ask in this episode:
- While your early childhood ambition was to become a cyclist, your fate changed after a horrible accident and with encouragement from friends, you pursued a fashion career instead. What gave you the reassurance that fashion was right for you and what were the first steps to break into the industry?
- I’ve interviewed many designers for this podcast including Betsey Johnson, Steve Madden, and Diane von Furstenberg who have successfully built and sustained their companies. How has your brand stayed relevant for so long and what aspects of your personality and style make your brand unique in the ultra-competitive retail world?
- Your monograph book captures your creativity and unique spirit. Even though you’ve said that “the key thing to creativity is that you just have to go with it”, what are your sources of inspiration and the obstacles that get in the way of your creative thinking?
- As a customer of yours, full disclosure, I remember trying to order a sweater during the start of the pandemic but was unable to because you had suspended your eCommerce sales. You’ve said that Covid is the most devastating challenge you’ve faced in 50 years. What were the hardest decisions you made to keep your company afloat and your workers safe?
- What is your best piece of career advice?
Follow Paul’s journey: