Paul Smith thinks people shouldn’t “take themselves too seriously.”
The 75-year-old fashion designer – who opened his first boutique in Nottingham over 50 years ago – believes in the importance of keeping your feet on the ground and staying polite, however successful you may be.
Paul told Sharp magazine, “Never take yourself too seriously and always remember that no one cares how good you were. Keep your feet on the ground. Think laterally. Please say thank you.”
The menswear designer has revealed he always gets ‘nervous’ when meeting people despite having been in the business for over half a century, but credits his dad for having him helped to continue.
He said, “I think I’m really ordinary with everyone. They’re probably just as nervous about meeting me as I am about meeting them, so why not just say “Hi everyone!” I really cite my dad for that.
The ‘Royal Designer for Industry’ also spoke of his sadness that everything was so similar and the need for people to ‘combat it’.
Paul said, “People are just nervous to be themselves and the whole world is so homogenized. It’s so sad really. Because we’re all trying, for whatever reason, to keep up and trying to, you know, be responsible for the company’s bottom line or whatever – which I understand, of course. When you’re fighting this, you have to keep your feet on the ground. You can always have a little lateral thinking.
He also attributed his long career to being “a bit crazy” and being willing to collaborate with other brands outside of the fashion world.
Paul said, “I’m a little crazy, you know. I worked with Leica cameras, Pinarello bikes. My company is doing well. I love my work. So anything outside of that is just fantastic fun for me. If I can get some money out of it, that’s great, but that’s not why I’m doing it. I like to be afraid. I speak a lot in public and I’m always scared.