Image: Guiseppe Frusteri
January 31 2010
I first discovered it around 10 years ago. Wandering in and around Bond Street, I dived down an unpromising side street and passed a shopfront with a very promising name: Paul Smith Sale Shop. Half an hour later I emerged from this pokey, draughty and sparsely decorated store with a typically high-quality suit from the British design maestro, in dark grey, for about half price (I forget the actual sum involved; I think I paid about £250 for it).
The suit is still going strong. And so, I have just discovered, is the Paul Smith Sale Shop: a lunchtime visit has just yielded a pair of gorgeous dark blue jeans with asymmetric pocket-stitching and nice understated details, from Paul Smith’s Red Ear denimwear label: reduced from £67 to £29 (though originally they were £129). “There’s more upstairs,” said the girl behind the desk. And indeed there was: suits, shirts, jackets (the ground floor is casualwear, accessories, shoes). Reductions were from 30 per cent upwards; shirts were down from £57 to £25, some suits were reduced from £600 to £200.
The stock is mostly end-of-season, but Paul Smith is such a classic brand – as is proved by the fact that my 10-year-old suit has never dated – that it really doesn’t matter.
My visit was necessarily fleeting, but I left behind a shirt, in a fine floral print, that is calling me. I’ll be back, and this time I won’t leave it for 10 years.