The first time I heard of Paul Smith was back in the early days of Forbes.com when a colleague, Dewayne Martin, first started wearing shirts and suits made by this brand. It also so happened that Paul Smith Store was right across from us on the Fifth Avenue. I didn’t pay much attention — I couldn’t afford the threads and more importantly, I was too vertically and weight challenged to fit into the slim cut clothing. I was thinking of Dewayne when I started watching this conversation between fashion/lifestyle writer Gisele Scanlon and Sir Paul Smith. I was enthralled – not entranced by this conversation and comments by Sir Paul whose company is doing revenues of $500 million. Smith who is friends with Apple’s Jonny Ive says that his wife doesn’t have a computer or a mobile phone or an answering phone.
Here are some of Sir Paul’s choicest quotes:
- I don’t see myself that way. Quirky, eccentric, a bit mad? Yes. A good mad. And free! That’s important, to be able to make your own business decisions.
- Freedom and time is my luxury.
- I’d like young designers, business people, musicians to know how poor some of the greatest artists, designers, actors, musicians were starting out in their careers.
- Stay inspired in business by being childlike. Not childish but childlike. Taking in everything around me like a child, I let it inspire me.
- Never be motivated by money: money isn’t and shouldn’t be a designer’s motivation (it clouds judgement). And money and success should never consume and change you etc.
- Realise that if you’re selling something/anything you work in service. Be friendly and helpful. Don’t forget. Think Service! Service! Service!
Guys stop whatever you are doing, hit the fullscreen and enjoy the best/fun/inspring conversation thing you will see.