Gentleman designer (2011)
A Film By Stéphane Carrel
Lord Paul Smith ‘You can find inspiration in everything, if you can’t look again.’ A film about the level headed businessman and talented fashion designer, following him in his everyday life and giving insight into his work ethic and creative process. The quirky designer, originally from Nottingham, has 400 shops and outlets in 85 different countries, 12 clothing lines and earns 400 million Euros in revenue each year.
Something that stood out to me was the method in which Smith would gather visual inspiration and new material for his collections and brand. Firstly, his office, or work space, full of photography and art. He surrounds himself with books and visual information so he is constantly submerged in creative content. Not only does he use the work or art of others but he is also an avid photographer, taking photographs of anything he finds interesting (something that I want to do more of!). In addition to this process or research he also makes regular trips to Portobello market scanning and collecting old suit jackets and shirts, never to copy, but to lift details that catch his eye.
I believe the way in which Smith collects his inspiration and injects it into his brand is the reason it is so successful. His process and the way he approaches business in a happy go lucky and modest manner is what pulls him forward in the fashion industry. He has managed to get millions of men interested in fashion, although, as a brand they aren’t always seen as on trend, he has a classic and timeless brand with a demanding and thirsty consumer.
The film today has left me with further insight to the brand Paul Smith and a new appreciation for it. I’ve come away with an opinion that Smith is a hard working and creative genius, still producing thoughtful and innovative menswear. I particularly like and relate to his work ethics and process, even taking away new ways to engage in fashion, art and music within my own work.