Sir Paul Smith started the year with a warning that trading in 2010 would be challenging, after reporting a dip in full-year profits for 2009. Although sales rose to £168.4m, against £149.9m the year before, pre-tax profits dropped slightly from £22.1m to £21.6m, and wholesale orders for 2010 had already fallen against the previous year.
But it didn’t stop the charismatic designer from launching a kidswear line for autumn 10, after a 10-year absence from the category, and doing so via a pop-up shop with Harrods. A store in London hotel Claridge’s was also among his achievements, while Smith’s passion for an industry he has helped to shape in the UK kept him at the forefront of menswear design.
Smith’s spring 11 women’s catwalk collection might not have been at the cutting edge, but it was full of commercial winners, with his classic tailoring offering some of the best cuts available.