Sir Paul Smith credits a "love of life" for his illustrious fashion career.
The veteran designer has shops in 73 countries worldwide and has been encouraging men to embrace their metro-sexual side with his attractive shirts in an array of bright colours since the '70s, but confessed he's not a "great" designer at all, and it's his zeal for life that has made him successful.
Asked what the secret to his success is, Smith revealed: "I am blessed at being OK at design and OK at business but not great at either ... I'd say it's a love of life, keeping your feet on the ground and not worrying how other people are doing because so many people become so full of envy. For me, I'm still with Pauline, the atmosphere in the building (the London HQ) is always lovely, very gentle and I'm my own boss. The shop in Los Angeles is bright pink. If this was part of a big company I would have had to have had about 47 meetings to paint a shop bright pink. I just said, I know, let's paint it bright pink!"
The 69-year-old designer says he never had a "big break" but pushed on because he wanted to be his own boss.
He told ShortList magazine: "I was a shop assistant working in Nottingham's first 'boutique'. Then I met my girlfriend Pauline and she said, 'Why don't you open your own shop because you've got lots of lovely ideas and good energy.' Pauline was a designer. We started selling together stores in France and London. But really it was a job to earn a living, a lifestyle that was ours instead of working for someone else. There was never a big break. It's been a nice organic growth, so I never had a big ambition of having a business in 73 countries."