Paul Smith always brings his A-game, and any advice about fashion from this man is a gem. Oki-Ni recently sat down with the designer and got some insight into the industry. Smith talked about everything from egos, spontaneity, the importance of personality, and what it means to be "British."
"I've been fortunate enough to not get seduced into thinking that because you've got pages in a posh magazine or you get on the telly that that pays the rent. It's about keeping your feet on the ground, remembering that fashion is about today and tomorrow, and that nobody cares how good you used to be."
"One of the points about fashion is that it should really be instinctive and very spontaneous. Real spontaneity can't be accomplished if there is too much to consider – what about brand image? What about the corporate strategy? Going back to my shop in Los Angeles, that is the opposite to a lot of my other shops, but because I am independent I could just go: 'let's make a pink box'. That's it!"
On the importance of personality in the fashion industry:
"You've got to understand that nobody needs another fashion designer, so you've got to have a point of view. You've got to have things that people go away with and remember."
On what it means to be "British":
"I think that if you could put Britishness in a jar it would be just a sort of inventiveness, a creativeness, and a quirkiness that is all embracing. I think that British Fashion Week is a goldmine of talent and openness - I think we just shoot from the hip and all sorts of stuff comes out"