Paul Smith Celebrates 25 Years in New York

Paul Smith  Grace Coddington
Photo: Patrick McMullan
Sir Paul Smith and Grace Coddington.

A knight in New York City? No wonder the Paul Smith store was packed to the brim on Wednesday night.

Sir Paul Smith hopped across the pond to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his Fifth Avenue store, with plenty fellow Brits—Glenda Bailey, Grace Coddington and Simon Doonan among them—and a fair share of Yanks coming out to wish him well.

“I’m 25 today, I hope you noticed!” laughed the dapper designer to FashionEtc (he’s 65, in fact, but we’re certainly not counting). But after 25 years in his New York digs—he also has a location on Greene Street in Soho—he’s made a serious impression on his American fans.

“We’re very popular in Italy, France, and Obviously Britain as well—places where they love a lot of color,” Smith said. “[New York] was more conservative when I first opened here, so it took longer, but I think today’s American customer is a lot more relaxed.” By the looks of the party guests—several sported Smith’s signature polka-dotted tie—we’d have to agree.

His trip to New York for the anniversary fête is a short one, but Smith was eager to feel at home in at least one way: the avid cyclist was planning a ride through Central Park. “I cycle in Paris and in London, where I live, and in Milan and Tokyo, but for some reason I haven’t cycled here,” he said. “It looks pretty hair-raising!”