Born: July 5, 1946 in Beeston, Nottingham
Paul Smith's career in fashion began after a cycling accident as a youngster put him in hospital for six months. The new friends he made while recovering took him to a pub popular with art students, and it was here he was seduced by their colourful world of ideas and excitement.
He enrolled in evening classes in tailoring and, with the help of his RCA fashion graduate girlfriend Pauline Denyer and a few savings, opened his first menswear shop in Nottingham in 1970. Over time he opened shops across the world, and added a women's line.
At the turn of the century, after nearly three decades in menswear, Paul was knighted by the Queen. Commercially successful and highly respected within the fashion industry, he now creates everything from accessories to fragrances to furniture.