link.png Paul Smith awarded prestigious Légion d'Honneur← Back


Congratulations are in order for Paul Smith, who has been awarded the prestigious Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest honour. The British fashion designer was presented with the distinction yesterday, at the French Residence in London.
He was awarded the honour in recognition of his long relationship with France, throughout his career in the fashion industry.
Paul Smith first set up his label in 1970 and has come to be known for his classic British style, to which he gives his own twist. Although considered to be a quintessentially British brand, the designer has had close ties with Paris from the beginning. Indeed, ever since his first fashion show in 1976, he has presented around 80 of his collections at Paris Fashion Week, whilst his first shop – in Nottingham – was called Paul Smith Vêtements pour Hommes.
Four decades later and these ties are stronger than ever before: not only does he now have five boutiques in Paris, he also has headquarters there too.
This accolade comes less than a week after the designer presented his menswear collection for Autumn-Winter 16 at the Bourse de Commerce in Paris.
The French Ambassador Sylvie Bermann commented: “It is a great honour to be paying tribute today to Sir Paul Smith, a revolutionary figure in British design whose flair and audacity have left an indelible mark on French fashion. I am thrilled that this uniquely talented man chose to make France a focal point for his creativity and entrepreneurship. He is an inspiration to a whole generation of young designers on both sides of the Channel.”
The fashion designer’s contributions to the fashion industry were previously recognized in 2000, when he was awarded a knighthood from the Queen. He is currently the subject of the touring exhibition 'Hello my name is Paul Smith', which runs until the 20th March 2016 in Glasgow.