6 years ago

March 2016

  • Text
  • Rover
  • Jaguar
  • Rugby
  • Convertible
  • Evoque
  • Holland
  • Defender
  • Aluminium
  • Wadi
  • Ratan
Meet Ratan Tata | Travel through the Outback in a Discovery Sport | Head to California in search of the Lost Coast | Sir Paul Smith and his bespoke Defender | Grass roots Rugby

There are 27 colours on

There are 27 colours on the exterior panels of the Paul Smith Defender internationally well known. I didn’t do it with a passion for wealth – just a strong passion about life itself. You got married and started in business really young. Do you think you missed out on your youth? The years before I met Pauline were pretty wild times – there were fantastic bands to see. It was a very rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. And then at the age of 21, I inherited this family – Pauline had two children, two Afghan hounds and two cats. But we were a very modern family – nothing stopped us – we’d go to gigs with the children, go on backpacking holidays to Greece. It was very different from my parents’ generation. What was it like moving from Nottingham? I came down to London in the 1960s and it was fantastic – I got to know Zeppelin and the Beatles and the Stones and Pink Floyd. It was a very hippy time. I got to know Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page very well – I’ve just done a new project with him. I got to know David Bowie very well, too. We dress Jake Bugg now – he’s from Nottingham, too. Sport and music are two things that have always been with me. Are you a designer or a businessman? Actually, what’s been helpful with the longevity of Paul Smith is I’ve never been really fantastic at design and I’ve never been fantastic as a businessman. I’m sort of OK at both. Starting a business when you’re 21 years of age, you soon fast-track into understanding about paying rent and invoicing and ordering fabric and opening at 10am and closing at 6pm, as well as designing. I’ve continued that balance through the years. I’m the owner of the business, and I’m also the designer and the boss. I hope I’m not autocratic, but I am very hands-on because I think it’s necessary to use my experience. We have this little sentence at work – you can’t do it without doing it. So Paul Smith is Paul Smith? Yeah! In the office they often say something is “very Paul Smith”, which is rather odd! I called my company Paul Smith because at the time all the shops around the world had strange names like Doll’s House or Birdcage. So using my name was a practical way of letting people know about me. It’s still an individually owned, private company. We’ve fought off all the companies who’ve tried to eat us over the years. So far, so good… Describe your character I’m blessed with being a very positive person, which I hope I’ve inherited from my father. He was a charismatic and funny guy. Pauline has helped me keep my feet on the ground. I’m still the boy she met when I was 21. I suppose the bad good thing – or the good bad thing – is that I’ve got the concentration span of an ant! And there are ants in my new collection… They never sit still, that’s for sure! I’ve got boundless energy and ideas. The least of my problems is ideas. I’ve always promoted individuality, a strong spirit and doing things differently. You can be as classic or as playful as you want. That’s what I wanted to do “ YOU CAN’T DO IT with the Defender. Respect the WITHOUT DOING IT” wonderful vehicle it is, but give it a sense of fun – really thinking SIR PAUL SMITH it through for its function and its history. Is it fair to say there’s not really a Paul Smith ‘look’; you’re more an enabler to help people express themselves… I appeal to this huge range of people – but then some of the top magazines say: “You’re too general and you don’t focus”. The thing about Paul Smith clothes is you wear them, they don’t wear you. There’s a simplicity that also appeals to me in the Defender. Form follows function – and that sort of function is something I desire more and more around the world. It’s been brilliant working on the Defender – such a joy to be asked and a privilege to have my own Defender NOW WATCH THE FILM Paul Smith talks Defender, fun and design while driving through London at 32

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Land Rover Magazine


Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.

In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.

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