Born in the 1940s in Nottinghamshire, Paul left school at 15 with dreams of becoming a professional cyclist. But, after a biking accident, he began to focus his attention on fashion. Paul describes us how meeting his wife Pauline, who had been trained in couture fashion, became instrumental to his career. We also hear how maintaining a collection of odd jobs served as an education in itself; “I did anything to earn money,” he says, “I packed boxes, sold things, took photographs, styled collections, designed for other people, worked as a colourist. All of it was learning by doing.”
As Paul’s business and global reach has grown, so inevitably have the responsibilities and pressures that come with big decision making. He tells us he goes about those trickier decisions, and the way he deals with stress when it arises: “In the creative world, lots of people take themselves very seriously,” he says. “There are many important aspects to being creative, but there’s no reason why you can’t have a lighthearted approach. Do things properly, don’t let people down, but have a lighthearted approach. It will get you through life a lot better.”
To hear the second half of our interview, tune into next week’s episode of the Creative Lives podcast.