Paul Smithの講演を聞いて得たこと。 #paulsmith

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Hey babes!





It is a while ago, but I went to a lecture made by Paul Smith, the famous fashion designer of his own brand “Paul Smith”. I just wanted to absorb all the things that he told us and then write about it on my blog, and here I am, now ready to share my experience with you guys!



Paul Smithは、イギリス出身のPaul Smith氏が1970年にローンチしたブランド。といっても、このときはセレクトショップ的なショップで、ケンゾーなどのメゾンブランドを多く取り扱っていたそう。1976年にパリでショーを開いて、自身がデザインするPaul Smithが誕生した。

日本でもPaul Smithはとっても人気だよね。ぱっと見ると、ボーイフレンドの財布がそうだったり、彼女から彼氏へのクリスマスプレゼントがPaul Smithのキーケースだったり。値段も手が出ないものではないから、ギフトにもしやすい。日本人にも親しみのあるブランドっていうイメージ。





もう、とにかく、無料なもんだから 人・人・人の嵐。



As you must already know, Paul Smith is the designer of “Paul Smith” which begun its legendary history since 1970. It started off as a boutique selling Kenzo, Margaret Howell, etc. In 1976, the brand Paul Smith was launched by his wife’s design, brought to Paris for a show case. Paul Smith is actually a very popular and famous brand in Japan as well. Take a look at your boyfriend’s wallet, it’s usually Paul Smith’s. I also have an image that girls tend to get key cases from Paul Smith for their boyfriend’s Christmas gifts. The price isn’t too high but still neat and sophisticated, so it’s a good fit for gifts I suppose. When I heard that the designer of this successful huge brand is coming to Tokyo and giving a lecture at Waseda University for FREE, I was already clearing up my plans I already had. I just HAD TO GO!!















But then since it was a lecture for FREE, tons and tons of people came to Waseda University and the situation got very VERY VERY BAD. It was chaotic…. worse than weekend Disneyland. I don’t even know how many people were there lining up for the door to be open, but the auditorium wasn’t spacious enough to fit all these people in. I was checking the situation up on Twitter, and then found this astonishing tweet saying… that Paul Smith saw this huge chaotic crowd and decided to do the same lecture TWICE so that he can accept as many people as possible to listen to his lecture. WHAT?! We all couldn’t believe that he could be so generous and kind… especially because you know, he is very famous and successful. But he was so nice that he actually did the lecture twice, and I was able to go in on the second one. (I waited for 2.5 hours for this so I seriously didn’t want to give up lol)







So the lecture was about his inspiration and how he gets them.








ただ、こうやって聞くと すごいな〜って思いがちだけど、初めてパリに洋服を持って行ったときは、その展示会に人が全く来なかったっていうことも言ってた。月曜日、誰もこない。火曜日も。水曜日も!だけど、木曜日に1人来てくれた。って。





First he started off by telling us about his background. He wanted to become a professional bike racer, but he had a serious accident and injured himself so bad he couldn’t pursue his career as an athlete. After that, he started working at a boutique as a sales assistant  and continued his career here for the next 6 years. Then he opened a small boutique, and finally after a few years of that he and his wife started their own brand, “Paul Smith”. It sounds like he followed a successful path towards his final career but actually he also told us all the downs and difficulties he had. He told us that when he first brought their clothes over to Paris, nobody came for the first 3 days and on the 4th day there, one customer came. Also when he opened a boutique, he didn’t want to sell the things that would definitely sell, like all the trend items, but instead stuck to his own taste…. which didn’t sell well at first.














Then he told us the way he thinks and what he values. He said that “balance” and “observation” is the key to create something special in this world full of people and ideas. There are so many people with so many good ideas and creativity in this world that HOW SPECIAL YOU CAN BE becomes the key. Being creative is important but that’s not good enough. Dreaming about something you want is important as well. But it’s the matter of balance. You can’t live with only dreaming about it, you have to actually be able to sustain your life, like paying the rent and buying food. The balance between reality and dream is what Paul is saying it’s important. He opened his boutique on Fridays and Saturdays, and all the other days he worked doing something completely different to pay the rent. However he didn’t want to sell clothes that he didn’t like just to make a living, and that was his dream part. He stuck to his originality, belief and dreams on Fridays and Saturdays, and also never forgot to look at the reality on the other day. Also observation is important. Looking at things, absorbing every bits of life, people and environment is definitely what brings inspiration to you.






特に、コミュニケーションと独自性については何度も大切だと繰り返して言ってた。コミュニケーションは何をするのにも大事で、ファッション業界に限らず、なんの仕事をする上でも必要不可欠だと。そして独自性。自分だけのものを見つけることの大切さ、そしてそれがスペシャルなものを生み出す素になる。この「自分だけのもの」を見つけるために必要なのは、自問自答を常にすること。”MAKE ROOM TO BREAK THE RULES” (=ルールを破るためのスペースを開けておく)、が彼が実際に使っていた言葉。なんで私はこれができないんだろう?なんでこれがしたいんだろう?もし私がこれをしたらどうなるだろう?こういう風に自問自答を繰り返していくことが独自性を生み出すのに必要なことだと言っていた。



He also told us the five things he believe are important in fashion industry.

“Design, communication, individuality, personality and quality”.

He strongly emphasized on the importance of communication and individuality, saying that communication is important no matter what job you do. Also, individuality as in finding what you can specialize at and what you like doing, and he told us that is what leads you to create something special. In order to find “your thing”, you always have to keep on questioning yourself says Paul. “MAKE ROOM TO BREAK THE RULES” is the term he used. “Why can’t I do this?” “Why do I want to do this?” “What if I do this?” are the kind of questions you want to ask yourself. The questioning process will lead you to strengthen your individualism.



そして、”DO THINGS THAT ARE RIGHT, NOT WHICH ARE EASY”(=容易いことよりも、正しいことをする)。楽ばかりしていても何も得るものがないと、彼は言っていた。6年間もきつい下積みを経験して、金土だけオープンしてその他の曜日は生活費を稼ぐために時間を費やしていた彼から聞くこの言葉はかなり説得力があった。



Also he said, “DO THINGS THAT ARE RIGHT, NOT WHICH ARE EASY”, which is pretty convincing after hearing his experience about how he worked for 6 years as an sales assistant at a boutique and how he had to work 5 days a week to make a living. Without the difficulties and struggles, people can’t earn much.





And at last but not least, my favorite word …….



“YOU CAN FIND INSPIRATION IN EVERYTHING. IF YOU CAN’T, THEN YOU’RE NOT LOOKING PROPERLY”(=インスピレーションは全てに見つけることが出来る。もし見つからないと思っているのであれば、それはちゃんと見ていないからだ)




”TRAVEL.” 旅行をすることが一番のインスピレーションだと、彼は言っていて。私も旅行が大好きで、国内外いろいろな場所に旅をしてきたけど、確かに旅行をして自分の今まで出会ったことのない色使いや建物、景色、現地の人が着ているものなどを見ることによって、すごく創造力がみなぎってくる感覚がいつもある。





“YOU CAN FIND INSPIRATION IN EVERYTHING. IF YOU CAN’T, THEN YOU’RE NOT LOOKING PROPERLY”. He showed us the photos of what he got inspiration from when he was designing his clothes. The pictures were walls of an old building, scrap from an old magazines and things… just, very ordinary things that you often see. But I could tell that after comparing his inspiration photos and his final clothes that those two were linked. He said traveling is the best way to get inspiration. I like to travel a lot and I have been to many different places before, and I realized that I came back with this power of creativity every time I come back to Tokyo. The colors, the scenery, the buildings, what the people are wearing and the food I ate… everything can be my inspiration.










So these were some things that I earned through this amazing one hours with Paul Smith. I loved his charming and fun personality as well as his convincing and inspirational stories about him and the way he thinks. He was talking about inspiration but THIS turned out to be my inspiration! I just want to say thank you so much for creating this opportunity, Thank you so so so much Paul! (One is a million chance he might be reading this so let me thank him here lol)




Thanks for reading!












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