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Oakham students get inspiration from Sir Paul Smith!

Published by Oakham School on Monday 13th of October 2014

Art and Design students from Oakham School have enjoyed an inspirational meeting with Sir Paul Smith at his fashion house headquarters in London.

As well as welcoming them into the office himself, Sir Paul gave them a personal tour of the building and his eclectic office.

Mrs Greaves, textiles teacher at Oakham School, was particularly delighted to meet one of his team one of her first-ever A-level students at Oakham - who has now been working for Paul Smith for 16 years!

The students were fortunate to get an insight into all areas of the business, as well as seeing his new collection. During the tour, the students also spent some time in his iconic office, which often features in Paul Smith publicity materials and interviews. Student Leon Patel-Champion described his office as "an over-exaggerated little boy's cupboard" which Sir Paul took as a huge compliment! The room was crammed full of inspiring books, objects and gifts, many sent to him by the public. As a keen cyclist and bike designer, there were also many bikes scattered around, including bikes belonging to Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish. The group were very excited to see that Usain Bolt had given Sir Paul his Bob Marley jacket, famously worn by Bolt at the London 2012 Olympics.

Sir Paul shared his experience of running the business and how different departments worked together, such as design, PR, marketing, architecture, interior design and social media. He talked about his collections and how he is constantly photographing and collecting ideas. He spoke to students about his passion for small details, and how they could inspire a new pattern, texture or even a collection. To illustrate the point, Sir Paul showed students a new design for a garment inspired by a photograph that he took whilst lying on his bed of the light breaking through a Venetian blind. The students thought "it was amazing to see such a beautiful piece of fabric could come from such a small idea".

This annual trip, run by Oakham School's Textiles department, is always a highlight for students, who always come away inspired and enthused by the experience. Ella Lloyd-Jones commented that "His analogy of scales representing the balance between selling his basics to cover his overheads and the more eye-catching inspirational pieces that he is renowned for was incredibly inspiring."

Anna Haefeli summed up the visit: "Sir Paul Smith was a very inspiring man, all the way from his intriguing background and the fact his wife taught him everything he knows, to his amazing sense of style and awesome socks."

Oakham students get inspiration from Sir Paul Smith! - Photo 1
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