Paul Smith Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Book Launch

A new monograph "PAUL SMITH" capturing the unique spirit of British fashion icon Sir Paul Smith through 50 objects chosen by Sir Paul himself. Edited by Tony Chambers, with a Foreword by Jonathan Ive

Created in close collaboration with British design legend Sir Paul Smith, this October Phaidon will be publishing "Paul Smith". This new monograph captures the unique spirit of legendary British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith. Through the lens of 50 objects, chosen by Sir Paul himself for the inspiration they have provided him over the years, the book explores everything from his very first show in Paris, his Floral Street shop in London, to the evolution of the stripe and his most recent collections and collaborations. In this way the book presents his work in a surprising and visually exciting way and shows him to be a truly dynamic and versatile designer.

The 50 objects presented in the book have been carefully selected to explore not only Sir Paul’s work over the years but also his thought process and the ethos of the brand. The objects chosen range from a packet of flower seeds to personal family photographs, and each one has had a significant influence on Sir Paul. Every object illuminates a different aspect of his incredible work as a designer and leads to discussions on subjects from breaking down the formality of wearing a suit, the importance of teamwork and the power of humour. The book provides readers with a wonderfully colourful insight into one of the most creative minds working in design today.

Edited by Tony Chambers, founder and creative director of design and lifestyle consultancy TC & Friends and co-chair of Brainstorm Design, the book includes a foreword by designer Jonathan Ive and also features personal contributions – letters, drawings and photos – from a number of fashion and design heavyweights including Manolo Blahnik, James Dyson, Martin Parr, John Pawson and Alice Rawsthorn who are just a few of Paul’s friends and collaborators.

The book’s colourful cloth cover takes its inspiration from one of the 50 objects in the book: yarn wound around card. This simple piece of card is how Sir Paul creates his famous stripes. Yarn is three-dimensional and so it is only when it is wrapped around card that it is possible to see how the different colours reflect off each other and thus how it will look when translated to fabric. It’s not possible to see this on a computer screen. The way the cover then wraps around to form pockets, into which the book slides, is inspired by a Filofax – another of Paul’s chosen objects in the book. It perfectly encapsulates Sir Paul’s design style.

Paul Smith has not only managed to build an internationally renowned fashion brand with shops across the globe, but one that has remained independent, relevant and true to Sir Paul’s core beliefs. There’s no better way to celebrate the brand’s 50th anniversary than with this beautiful new monograph.

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