Be Happy

As many of you already know, in my first life I was a fashion designer. So I’ve long been interested in how design and art can make the world a better place, which is why the exhibition ‘Hello, my name is Paul Smith’ at London’s Design Museum was my perfect Saturday treat.

Not only is it a great exhibition, but it’s a vivid demonstration of seven golden business lessons that I’d like to share with you.

1. Have a dream, and follow your destiny

Paul’s worked in a men’s clothing wholesalers, but his real passion was cycling and he hoped to be a professional racing cyclist. When he was 17, he had an accident that put an end to this ambition. While in hospital, he made friends with some ‘arty types’ and his life had just taken him in an entirely new and unexpected direction.

2. Find a sponsor who believes in you and keeps you true to your dream

Pauline Denyer was his teacher, she later became his wife. She saw his potential and taught him what he needed to know about the fashion industry, encouraging him to open his first shop in Nottingham.

3. Start small and watch your cashflow

Paul’s first show was in a windowless space that measured just 3m by 3m (12ft sq), called ‘Paul Smith Vêtements Pour Homme’. Small, but big enough to test his ideas and get feedback from the public. Remember this was 1970, long before Facebook ‘Likes’ or any social media sharing tools. From there, he went on to open a ‘proper’ shop, employing staff six days a week.
Continue reading

Continue Reading

The Book

Art14 London Review

7 Ways to Turn Disappointment into Opportunities

Can you remember going to an event you’d been looking forward to and then the whole experience falling flat?

That happened to me recently when I went along to Art14 London. I’ve been going to art exhibitions, museums and fashion shows for more than 30 years. While this doesn’t make me an expert, it has helped me develop an eye for spotting what’s different, outstanding and exciting.

As I always have great expectations and a vivid imagination that helps me get excited about things ahead of time, I was really looking forward to this global art fair.

With thousands of collectors, art lovers and the glitterati of the art world there to enjoy not just incredible paintings and sculptures, but also interactive tours and talks, and even Purple Dragon’s children’s stand, it was bound to be a great day out.

Can you imagine – 180 of the world’s most exciting modern and contemporary galleries showcasing works by emerging talents and modern masters all in one place?

From Berlin to Beirut, Havana to Hong Kong, London to Lagos, this fair was a chance to experience works by over 700 artists from 40 countries.

Well apart from enjoying some works by Peter Blake’s and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s, the whole event felt dull and lifeless.
Continue reading

Continue Reading

Written By

Back to Top