Paul Smith is known for his tongue-in-cheek take on classic style, a personal hallmark that he’s managed to turn into a global brand. What started as one store 37 years ago has grown to 21 shops in 12 countries, and the company is still expanding (in November he christened shops in New York, Paris, and Moscow). In addition to overseeing design on 12 collections from runway looks to furniture, Smith spends an average of seven months a year on the road. With all his accomplishments—he was even knighted in 2000—slowing down is not on the to-do list. "I have no reason to retire! I’m still the boss and the main shareholder and the designer," he says. "It’s a lovely way of earning a living." The whimsical powerhouse took the time to tell us about a few of his favorite things.
• "I don’t watch television, use the Internet, or read newspapers. I listen to the BBC’s radio news every morning."
• "I drive a Bristol 405 from 1956. But it doesn’t fit in my parking spot at work so I have to take my Mini Cooper."
• "I visit Tokyo twice a year, and I've been going to the Park Hyatt since the minute it opened."
• "I own the new supertiny iPod shuffle—Jonathan Ive, the designer, is one of my best friends."
• "I wear top-to-toe Paul Smith. I like it and it’s free."
• "I have two houses in Italy: one in Tuscany and another in Sardinia. Driving around Sardinia is one of my favorite activities."
• "I’m a very early riser—on average I get up at six and I’m normally swimming by 6:40. It’s such a great way of opening up and stretching the body."
• "I’ve always used a little French notebook by Rhodia, so they finally called and asked me to design this one."