Cycling Jerseys, Banksy, Rock Stars: Riding Into Paul Smith’s Colorful World

LONDON — Fifty years into the fashion business, gathering inspiration and dreaming up new collections is still second nature to Paul Smith, who remains as curious as ever, and shows no signs of fatigue from having seen — or experienced — it all.
“Getting inspired, designing has always been easy,” said Smith, sitting in one of his most treasured rooms in his design studio and headquarters in London’s Covent Garden. It doubles as a conference room and cabinet of curiosities filled with art, books, memorabilia and gifts from fans and clients.
“It’s all the rest that’s hard: Staying relevant, production, getting paid, deliveries, Hong Kong’s crazy street problems, gilets jaunes in Paris, Brexit in England. You’re fighting fires all the time with an international business.”
There are shelves lined with architecture books; a vintage bicycle and piles of cycling jerseys gifted from the cyclists who won the Tour de France or the Giro d’Italia in one corner; black-and-white images signed by rock legend David Bowie in another, and Mr. Potato Head figurines sent to Smith all the way from Japan, where he enjoys superstar status.
“It might just be origami, but if someone made the effort to send you something, that’s important,” added the

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