News and events
18 November
Sir Paul Smith’s public talk was held in Skolkovo
The legendary British designer Paul Smith, has had a talk with the guests of Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO on November 17th. A true gentleman and humorist, Sir Paul appeared on the stage dancing. He threw the socks and knelt to show the merino sheep.

And during the talk, Sir Paul has told about where to look for the inspiration, what can be learnt from the Japanese and how to create a sensation.

About brand

- I worked as a salesman, and everybody knew me. I was shrewd enough to call the first shop with my own name. Many stores have had awkward names then, so handwritten not graphical inscription Paul Smith was an innovation.

Paul Smith had 7 lines until the last year, we have reduced them to two men and two women ones. It is more convenient to work them through. We should always think about the future and move forward in the world of fashion.

Suits are my strong point. It is difficult to make revolutionary modifications in suit; it is fine work. We work over cut, shape & cloth. My suit, for example, is made of sheep. Cute Merino sheep. This breed has very long hair, so we get dense and elastic thread after spinning.

About business

There is no structure in the hierarchy of Paul Smith brand. It has neither vertical no horizontal organization. Everyone can contribute to its development irrespective of the position held. The work is never efficient in case you are always under pressure.

The trip to Japan in 1982 has taught me a lot. The Japanese have a unique business ethic. They have conducted meetings constantly. Every time I saw someone in my office, I said: "Let's arrange a meeting!" The Japanese think in long terms; it is rare quality now. You need to be prepared to the fact that you will be working at a loss for the first five years in case you want a successful business in future.

Sometimes people say: "This or that man has made a sensational discovery or invention!" It does not work that way. It is necessary to examine a lot of ideas and test them. You should move to get a sensation. Even a simple cocktail will be marvelous just after you will try to use a lot of ingredients and choose the best ones.

About stores

- I stick to my favorite rule when we work over a new shop: think globally, but act locally. All of my shops are very recognizable, yet they are very different. Individuality is very important. 12 architects work over my shops, but I approve each project personally. The world is very identical now. It is necessary to contrive and use your imagination to make life more colorful. I thought about Red Square and GUM when we designed the Moscow store, so I thought it would be nice to use mahogany in decoration.

We do not forget about the practical side having love of beauty. Nothing should look cheap or break. You can come with strollers to our stores. Everything is done for the customers’ convenience.

Come to my shop in London's Mayfair - I work on Saturdays there. I understand, that the business process is very diverse now, but I never forget that I receive the salary from my customers.

About inspiration

- How do I manage to successfully administrate 500 shops around the world and keep the charism? You should build a business being relaxed, without strain. Stress can be unbearable when you start to expand & grow. It can be explained. But I'm an old-fashioned man. It is a success for me to live and be happy every day. I thank everyone for each day, for the sun shining in the sky. The best recipe, I think, is to strike the happy medium.

When I opened my first shop, I worked on Fridays and Saturdays there. And I was engaged in freelance like making sketches, photographing on other days. That is, I was able to achieve a balance between making money and making a dream come true. Everything you do will be a success in case this balance is struck.

You should always be a child to keep freshness of thought & perception. Do not be blinkered. Ask a lot of questions and look around as often as possible.

About wife

- I always say "yes" when Pauline asks me about something!

It was my wife who inspired me to become a designer. She told me: "You have so much energy, why do not you open a shop?”

She was very much involved in the development of our business in the beginning. She was my art design teacher. Pauline is very good narrator; she has a subtle perception of things. I draw my creative ideas when talking with her.

She took the back seat. She is involved in art for 10 years already. She lives her own life, dances & draws.

I like to spend evenings and weekends with her. Today, when I go back to London, we will probably go to have a dinner at some nice restaurant.
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