Outstanding Achievement 2011

21 November 2011
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Outstanding Achievement 2011

The British Fashion Council (BFC) is delighted to announce that Sir Paul Smith will receive the Outstanding Achievement Award at this year’s British Fashion Awards on Monday 28th November. This special award celebrates the achievement of a designer whose work has had an exceptional impact on global fashion.

Four times previous British Fashion Awards winner, Paul Smith has been the recipient of Menswear Designer (1997/1999), Classic Designer (2001) and Contemporary Designer (2003). This award for Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design, was voted for by a panel of leading internationally acclaimed journalists and retailers to recognize Paul’s extraordinary career an contribution to the British Fashion Industry.

Paul Smith is revered for his designs which are described as  ‘classics with a twist’  and for his signature idiosyncratic take on traditional British styling in both his fashion collections and shops.

Paul Smith started his fashion career in a clothing warehouse in Nottingham.  With no plans or qualifications and with the encouragement of his girlfriend Pauline Denyer (now wife) and a small amount of savings, Paul opened a tiny shop in 1970. By 1976 Paul showed his first menswear collection in Paris under the Paul Smith label and in 1998 showed his first women's collection at London Fashion Week and the women's mainline collection continues to this day.

Within 20 years Paul Smith had established himself as a pre-eminent British designer.  He has the ability to anticipate and spark trends, not only fashion but often in the wider context of popular culture. He transmits a genuine sense of humour and mischief mixed with his love of tradition and the classics. In recognition of his dedication to British Fashion, he was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2001 for services to the British Fashion Industry.
Paul has retained a base in Nottingham but opened an office in London in 2003.  His first store opened on 10 Byard Lane, Nottingham in 1970.  In 1998 he converted a town-house in Notting Hill, London which became his flagship shop.  He now has 14 stores in London including Paul Smith Men, Women, Jeans, Junior and Paul Smith No. 9. The international growth of his business began and most famously in Japan, where Paul Smith has become synonymous with British design, he now has over two hundred stores in the country, other international stores can be found in Paris, Milan, New York, Far East and Middle East.

He is famed for dressing a broad range of high profile figures including politicians, entrepreneurs, footballers, rock stars, artists and actors who champion his label.

Paul Smith continues to be an integral part of his company; he is both designer and chairman and remains fully involved in every aspect of the business.

Sir Paul Smith commented,
“What a fantastic honour to receive this award. It is really an award for not just me but for all of my fantastic team, many who have been with me for a very long time and have helped me build up a solid structure which really works. Thank you!”

Harold Tillman, CBE, Chairman of the BFC, commented,
“I have known Paul for many years, he has built an incredible business, has bags of integrity and, a great sense of humour.  Paul Smith, the brand and the man contributes a great deal to our industry commercially and creatively; his signature style is recognised throughout the world. He is the perfect recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award this year.”

Image gallery of Paul Smith's collections

For British Fashion Awards enquiries, please contact:
Gemma Ebelis, British Fashion Council
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7759 1989