When Selfridges met: Paul Smith

— 5 November 2012


Paul Smith takes pride of place in the newly-renovated men's shoe floor at Selfridges; the largest shoe department in the world. The pop up, designed by Paul Smith to reflect one of his other passions outside of designing shoes – books, features his new season collection as well as several styles exclusive to Selfridges. The space features a selection of the books which influenced Paul’s shoe designs this season, as well as showing a series of short films featuring the inspirational reads.

We stole 60 seconds with Paul Smith to talk literature, collaborations and what his shoes say about him.

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What was your vision for the new Paul Smith shoes boutique at Selfridges?

I wanted something that stood out and that people were intrigued by. It's an absolute privilege to be here because Selfridges is a great place to sell shoes.

Paul Smith Boutique at Selfridges London

What is it about books that inspires you?

My office is full of books on photography, art, illustration, graphic design, architecture and product design alongside a good biography or autobiography. I am a very visual person and all my creativity grows from really looking at everything all around me. That is why I love to be right beside books. They are full of information, inspiration, colour and much, much more. I use them constantly as references in my work.

What is your all-time favourite book and why?

The Art & Technique of Colour Photography by Simon & Schuster, 1951. My reputation for colour is quite well known, this book published in the 1950s has a purity of colour which is hard to find today.

You’ve teamed up for an exclusive collection with renowned British shoe maker John Lobb. What inspired this collaboration?

Because they asked me! With that simple question and their enormous and fantastic reputation for beautifully handmade shoes, I said yes, even though I have a very substantial shoe business of my own. I thought this collaboration would be exciting, interesting and different to what I already do with my own shoe collections.

If you could own just one pair of shoes for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

I have some 32 year old, plain capped shoes made from Cordovan leather. They are really simple, beautiful, and because of their age, full of character.

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Find out more about the men's shoes space >