It’s fascinating to learn about the origins of fashion designers and their influences. I recently read an article in the Guardian about legendary British designer Paul Smith, who before suffering a tragic accident, was destined to become a professional cyclist.
You’ll come to find that I love riding my bike and the culture surrounding bicycle racing. Team uniforms or “kits” are designed with the same attention to detail that a Burberry trenchcoat or pair of APC jeans would be. This article was especially interesting to me because it became somewhat of a crossroads between two passions of mine, men’s style and cycling.
Smith began riding at an early age. His first part time job in high school was working in a nearby clothing factory. Upon crashing out and ending any future in the sport, he began meeting with local art students and realized his true passion was designing men’s clothing. Within two years he was managing a boutique and taking night classes to learn tailoring. In 1976 he launched his first menswear collection and quickly became one of the greatest British designers of our time.
I’ll leave you with a quote and video of the fashion show for the upcoming spring/summer 2011 collection. I found this quote particularly humorous as it aptly sums up what numerous, (i’m guilty myself), cyclist at the local races definitely think…. but rarely admit.
-Interviewer: Did you think of wearing black socks yourself?
-Smith: No, far too uncool, I’d sooner lose but look good.