Style | Diary of a Somebody

Paul Smith

The designer-cum-cycling enthusiast on his dream collaboration

Paul Smith

November 04 2010
Paul Smith

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Boring but true: back in the pool at 6am. Actually it was really busy, which is surprising, given the London Underground strike; normally there is only myself or at the most two other people in the pool and today there were – my goodness! – nine.

In the office by 7ish, did lots of catching up including writing postcards to various people who very kindly sent me things; books, toys, and, of course, rabbits. Rabbits: maybe I’ve never mentioned this, but I once said that rabbits are good luck for me, I think it was in 1982; word got around and I now get between six and 20 rabbits a week. I have an amazing 80 boxes of rabbits of all types – I even got a real one once. (It tasted delicious! Only joking.)

I then got in the car and drove all the way back home to pick my wife up and drop her off somewhere because of the transport chaos. Two and a half hours later, I was back at work and it felt as if I’d only done two miles. Then: on to the day job.

First thing was working on one of my women’s collections, Paul Smith Black. Today I was finalising the various designs and preparing to launch the collection. Also we just had the “strike offs” back from the textile printers – these are the initial prints of the various colours we are thinking of, and we were then deciding on which ones work.

Next I was on to shoes, selecting leathers and colours both for men’s and women’s. I’m pleased that our shoe business is doing really brilliantly, especially here in Britain and in France.

Now onto Rapha. If you are not a bicycle enthusiast you probably don’t know what I’m talking about when I say Rapha. But if you love your cycling you’ll know that Rapha is a brilliant company making brilliant clothing for cycling and other various cycle-related things ( We’ve done a joint project, whereby I have created a line for them that’s basically clothes you can wear at work or everyday, but that also work on a bike: they’re windproof, waterproof, have high-vis patches, pockets for phones etc.

Anyway, I did a small collection for them this winter, but a more complete collection is coming for spring next year, so today I have been going through all the initial samples. And I must say it’s looking great.

At 4 o’clock I’m on the train to Nottingham with Nicole (my PA) – unfortunately for her it’s a working journey, but at least we get a nice supper in my favourite countryside hotel that I always stay in, Langar Hall – no swimming in the morning, though, as basically I’ll be staying in the middle of a field!

Tomorrow I’ll be out and about in Nottingham – my home town – so I have been sorting out the arrangements for the various things I’m doing, but I’ll tell you all about them tomorrow.

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