Paul Smith is a British designer best known for his menswear collections. The designer originally hoped for a career as a professional athlete, but when sidelined by a serious accident, he began to consider a career in the world of art and ideas.
His interest in the fashion world began with an early job at a clothing warehouse in his native Nottingham. This position led to a management opportunity at a Nottingham boutique, and eventually to his own boutique, opened in 1970. With the assistance of his girlfriend at the time (and later his wife) Pauline Denyer, then a design student at the Royal College of Art, as well as a few night classes to improve his tailoring skills, he realized his dream of creating his own fashion line. His first menswear collection was shown in Paris in 1976.
The success of this line allowed for expansion to a new boutique on Floral Street in Covent Garden. The line went international with the expansion of the business in Japan, where the Paul Smith line is popular. In 1998, Smith converted a town-house in Notting Hill, London into his line's flagship store. Paul Smith showed his first women's collection in 1998 at London Fashion Week. The designer's notoriety is primarily from his background in the menswear industry, but the women's mainline collection continues to this day.
Today, Paul Smith offers products under the labels Paul Smith, Paul Smith Women, PS by Paul Smith, Paul Smith Jeans, Paul Smith London, R. Newbold (Japan only), Paul Smith Accessories, Paul Smith Shoes, Paul Smith Watches, Paul Smith Pens and Paul Smith furniture and things. Paul Smith also licenses his name for the production of rugs, china, spectacles and fragrance.
In 2000, Paul Smith was was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his 30 years' status as a menswear icon.
Paul Smith launched his first fragrances, Paul Smith Men and Paul Smith Women, in 2000. The designer produces fragrances in collaboration with Inter Parfums Inc.
Paul Smith has produced 45 perfumes to date. The earliest edition was created in 2000 and the newest is from 2018. Paul Smith fragrances were made in collaboration with perfumers Hamid Merati-Kashani, Marie-Aude Couture, Olivier Pescheux, Antoine Maisondieu, Laurent Bruyere, Fanny Bal, Dominique Ropion, Antoine Lie, Jean-Pierre Bethouart, Nathalie Lorson, Alain Astori, Nathalie Gracia-Cetto, Domitille Michalon Bertier, Anne Flipo, Vincent Schaller, Francoise Caron, Nathalie Feisthauer and Barnabe Fillion.