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Sir Paul Smith joins special Royal order


Fashion designer Sir Paul Smith has joined a special royal order.

The legendary designer – who has dressed Bowie, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, Billy Nighy, Daniel Day-Lewis and many more – was made into a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour, one of 66 living members, including Elizabeth – by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge at Windsor Castle on Wednesday (12.01.22).

After the ceremony, the 75-year-old menswear apparel creator – wearing one his own suits – said: “I was made a CBE by the Queen, received my knighthood from and now with William, I’ve got the full set.”

Paul attributed his long and successful career – his fashion was established in the 1970 with just a few hundred pounds behind it but now has outlets in over 70 countries – to the “stimulant” of “creativity” as he collected the award, which was established in 1917 by King George V to celebrate work of national importance.

He said: “ Creativity is a very interesting stimulant because there’s nothing better than having a lovely idea and then turning that idea into reality and seeing that people are enjoying what you’ve created.

“The love of life keeps me going – getting up every morning.”

Smith – who along with creating clothes has done collaborations with iconic brands such as Dyson and Mini Cooper – added: “It’s also very much about longevity – you’ve been consistently contributing to society, employment, exports, and [have] enthusiasm and energy for young people.”

The lover of colour – his trademark is flashy stripes – was taught how to tailor by his wife Paula Denyer, a fashion graduate of the Royal College of Art, who he met in 1967.

Last year, Paul wished that fashion industry – which has faced scrutiny about it impact on the climate – would keep some of the adjustments prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as only having two seasons a year.

He said: “I hope the fashion industry slows down. We don’t need as many seasons as there were. I would like it to go back to a couple of years ago when there were two seasons, and in between those, you would have a one-week sale period.”

In addition, Paul praised his small team at his “independent” fashion house – who don’t have the backing of a huge company – for being able to put on a show during the pandemic.

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!”

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