When the designer Paul Smith was 12-years-old, he started bike racing at the Beeston Road Club in Nottingham. Aged 18, he had a serious crash that put him in hospital for six months. When he got out, he opened a small boutique in 1970 – beginning his career in fashion.
While Paul Smith’s eponymous brand is now one the UK’s most successful exports – with over 350 shops worldwide – he still hasn’t forgotten his teenage love of cycling. A new book from Thames and Hudson, Paul Smith’s Cycling Scrapbook celebrates his passion.
The book is filled with images illustrating Smith’s favourite people, races, and places in the world of cycling. Be it through his collection of cycling jerseys, library of cycling publications and brochures, collaboration with bike-makers, Paul Smith’s Cycling Scrapbook highlights the connections between Smith’s love of cycling and his love of design.
In an interview with The Guardian, Smith spoke about his early interests in the aesthetics of cycling:
“Without realising it, I was style-conscious, because how the bike looked and how you looked on the bike were very important. They probably weren't, but it felt like they were. I remember when I started racing there was one boy who nearly always won and he'd got black socks instead of white socks. Me and my friends were harassed by that: How could he win? He's got black socks!”