Since 1970, Sir Paul Smith has been designing pieces that are instantly recognisable for their distinctly British style and eccentricity – much like the man himself. Over four decades, his design motto has remained unchanged: “Find inspiration in everything.”
We wanted to find out, as the leaves start to fall, which objects – from the practical to the delightfully indulgent – help the 71-year-old designer in his quest for inspiration, make his life a little easier, or simply get the man around town in style.
For the nights of celebration: Forge de Laguiole Sommelier Corkscrew
When it comes to something as important as popping a cork and throwing a party, it’s crucial that your kitchen drawer is sufficiently equipped. You’re in safe hands with anything designed by Forge de Laguiole, which has been hand-crafting tools for the world’s best sommeliers since 1829.
Paul says: “Iconic design, essential function!”
Forge De Laguiole Sommelier Corkscrew
For cutting a sharp figure: A Suit To Travel In by Paul Smith
Look no further for the ultimate everyday office attire. Crafted in Italy and cut in Paul Smith’s signature “Soho” fit – easy fitting through the chest with a tailored waist and hip – this two-piece suit comes complete with matching slim trousers.
Paul says: “This suit is 100% wool, but has a natural crease-resistance – perfect for the man (or woman!) on the go.”
A Suit To Travel In by Paul Smith
For all eventualities: Victorinox Evolution Swiss Army Knife
The word ‘icon’ gets bandied around far too liberally, but when it comes to the classic Swiss army knife, it is near-impossible to avoid hyperbole. Diminutive in size, but superior in structure and engineering, this knife houses 21 functions. Savvy additions include an inline Phillips-head screwdriver, locking blade, pliers and universal wrench.
Paul says: “I was a keen boy scout growing up and have never grown out of my love for Swiss army knives. I always carry one in my pocket.”
Victorinox Evolution Swiss Army Knife
For stepping out in style: Alden Cap-Toe Shoes
There’s no denying that a pair of Alden shoes is a serious investment. But, like many heritage brands with a world-class product, they are worth every penny. The family-owned, New England-based business is carrying forward a tradition of quality, genuine-welted shoemaking that is truly exceptional.
Paul says: “I’ve had a pair for longer than I can remember. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you.”
Alden Cap-Toe Shoes
For putting it in writing: Tiffany Sterling Silver Marker
A serious indulgence? Quite possibly. But then again: who doesn’t love a gorgeous selection of stationery? This Tiffany Sterling Silver Marker is the stuff of a scribbling enthusiast’s dreams and will have you reaching to make unnecessary lists just to keep using it.
Paul says: “Like a lot of people, I use a Sharpie more or less every day. Tiffany has come up with this clever way of making something very ordinary, really very special.”
Tiffany Sterling Silver Marker
For getting from A to B: Pinarello Dogma Bike
Keep fit and look great while you’re doing it. The Italian brand, Pinarello, designs bikes for professional cyclists, including Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas – so one of these is sure to turbocharge your commute.
Paul says: “There’s no better way to travel around town than on a bicycle. Why not feel like a professional when you’re doing it by riding the pros’ bike of choice!”
Pinarello Dogma Bike
For some stylish risk-aversion: Kask Helmet
The perfect companion to your Pinarello — a cycle helmet from the creative minds of Paul Smith, Italian brand Kask, and Team Sky. Protect your creative mind with one.
Paul says: “It’s never been more important to stay safe on the roads. I’ve collaborated with Kask on a cycle helmet that looks great, but also does the job.”
Paul Smith + Kask 'Rainbow Gradient'
For stashing bits and bobs: Hermès Tibi Change Tray
The modern gentleman’s “man-drawer”. Keep everything to hand and in sight as you begin and end your day. Simple design, and endlessly useful.
Paul says: “I always have pockets full of stuff and at the end of every day, there’s no better place to keep all the bits and pieces in one place.”
Hermès Tibi Change Tray
For collecting memories: Leica D-Lux
It is estimated that in the past year alone, the human population captured 1.2 trillion photographs. We have never been so hungry for the opportunity to record our experiences, and investing in a Leica camera will make these memories all the more beautiful to look back on.
Paul says: “My father was a very keen amateur photographer, and so I learnt a love of cameras from him. He always dreamt of owning a Leica and then a few years back, I was bowled over when they asked me to collaborate with them. This new model is very special.”
For keeping it simple yet effective: Tailored-Fit White Cotton Shirts
A classic wardrobe staple. Crafted in Italy from 100% cotton, this refined white long-sleeve shirt is cut in a tailored-fit with a “Signature Stripe” cuff lining, adding a playful twist to a classic style.
Paul says: “Ideally, invest in a selection from Paul Smith, but Charvet in Place Vendôme, Paris, does a pretty good one, too!”
Men's Tailored-Fit White Cotton Signature Stripe Cuff Shirt
Want to learn the secrets to Paul Smith’s success? We had him as a guest on our podcast…