Paul Smith says it’s “a miracle” his eponymous brand managed to create an entire Autumn/Winter 2021 collection amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 74-year-old fashion designer has hailed his team for managing to pull off the collection and show as an independent British firm.
He said: “As an independent British company – and I mean that, we are independent, as opposed to us having the backing of one of the big conglomerates – the fact we’ve put on a show and we’ve got an entire collection, it’s a real hats off to my team. They’ve done a miracle job. A real miracle. A lot of the brands haven’t been able to get anything together, they’re still working from sketches, they have tiny collections, if anything – so well done to us!”
Smith insisted he didn’t follow the trend of creating casual pieces fit for lockdown because he wanted to “excite people” with new pieces they can add to their wardrobes to jazz up their every day looks.
He told GQ: “I’ve intentionally not done that. It’s such an obvious thing. Due to lockdown, everyone’s doing sportswear, sportswear, sportswear – you know, hoodies, jogging bottoms, trainers, Birkenstocks … If you look at our e-commerce site now, which is around 45 per cent up on what it was last year, it’s nearly all casual clothing that’s selling, so I don’t need to show that. I need to show things that excite people, things that aren’t crazy and that you could easily add to your existing wardrobe, but aren’t just a hoodie or whatever.”
Smith is thankful to have a young team around him who are full of “energy”, as he admitted it’s been extremely “challenging” keeping his business going in these unprecedented times.
He added: “It’s an enormously challenging time. Business is really tough because nearly all of our shops are closed in Europe and then we’re also on restricted hours in some countries. Any company that says they’re not haemorrhaging money right now is not being truthful. Everyone’s going through complicated times, but, luckily, so far so good. We’re so full of positive spirits. I’ve got such a good young team around me – they have so much energy.”