Paul Smith photographed by Tom Cockram

Paul Smith tells us his favourite things about Britain

The fashion designer and connoisseur of good taste tells us what inspires him...

What can be said of Paul Smith that hasn’t been said already? You know about the wild offices, stacked to the ceilings with priceless trinkets. You’ve heard the no-nonsense advice, uttered in those warm, midland tones.

You’ve seen the bright stripes and the ageless, singular cuts. You’ve longed for the shirt and the suits, and spoken in reverent tones of ties and socks.

Paul towers over British style like some benevolent Admiral Nelson, only with much better shoes. He’s not so much a one-man brand, but a one-man ideas factory; a museum you can talk to, if you find yourself in the right Notting Hill pub.

But what does Paul make of the rest of the nation? And where does he get his inspiration? We spoke to the country’s favourite living designer and asked him to name his Best of British.

Land Rover Defender

Paul says:

I’m the proud owner of a long-wheel base Defender. When Land Rover asked me to collaborate and re-colour the iconic design I was absolutely thrilled.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Paul says:

One of the country’s best young artistic talents, I’m so proud that Lynette was the recipient of our artistic bursary.

Tate Modern

Paul says:

I’m lucky enough that the lovely people at Tate give me early morning access to the exhibitions before the doors open.

Anglepoise Type 75 lamp

Paul says:

The iconic lamp by Kenneth Grange has sat on the desks of all types of people, all over the world.

The R.A.C

Paul says:

I swim at this club every morning before work. And I always make sure to take a peek at the beautiful cars in the atrium on my way the pool.

Bill Nighy

Paul says:

The list of talented British actors and actresses is endless but Bill Nighy is a personal friend and a personal favourite.

Jonathan Ive

Paul says:

I’m lucky enough to call Jonathan a friend. Watching him grow and change the world in the process has been truly inspiring.

Accrington Stanley

Paul says:

I’m not a big football follower, but my wife Pauline is a supporter of the club. They were promoted last season — we were delighted!

Thomas Heatherwick

Paul says:

I love the way Thomas thinks and the way he’s able to combine something old with something new.

British Cycling

Paul says:

Just in the last few years we’ve had Hoy, Froome, Wiggins, Thomas and now Yates. I think that says it all!

Read the full story in the Nov/Dec issue of Gentleman’s Journal. Subscribe here…

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