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Paul Smith

Now at the helm of his eponymous and highly successful global brand, Paul Smith came to fashion in an accidental way. At the age of 16, he happened upon a job at a local clothing warehouse in his native Nottingham. After an accident derailed his hopes at a career in cycling, he befriended students at the local art college and was inspired to pursue a career in clothing design. With the encouragement of his future wife Pauline Denyer (an RCA fashion graduate) and a small amount of savings, Smith opened his first shop in 1970. In 1976, he showed his first menswear collection in Paris under the Paul Smith label. In the ensuing years, Paul Smith had established himself as the pre-eminent British designer, currently overseeing 14 different collections, including men's and women's wear, shoes, eyewear, and fragrance.