Im Business-Anzug zur Arbeit, Radrennen, Touren durch Europa oder der Hype des E-Bikes – alle Welt sitzt fest im Sattel und tritt umweltfreundlich in die Pedalen. Wir hatten das Vergnügen einen der größten Fahrrad-Fans überhaupt zu treffen: Sir Paul Smith, ein Designer, den wir verehren, ein Mann, der offenbar immer in Bewegung ist. Und wer hätte es vermutet? Ein Fahrradunfall ist Schuld daran, dass er als Teenie auf die steile Bahn des Designs und der Kreativität geriet (...)
Is it true, that you wanted to be professional racing cyclist?
Yes that’s true. When I was 12 years I got bought a very beautiful bike and I joined the local Cycle Club in my town then my dream was to become a professional racer. But then I had a bad accident with my bike and couldn’t ride for 3 months than a couple boys I met in hospital during this time became my friends. They took me to a Pub, where a lot of architects, Designers and People from the fashion industry hung out and slowly I became fascinated by the world of creativity and thought it was amazing. And I wonder if I could make a living out of being a designer. So one of the people I met in this Pub ask me to help with his clothing shop, which I did and eventually learned through my wife how to design clothes and it all progressed from there!
…and it’s amazing that you kept your love for bicycling all your life. Is it a man thing? I mean I remember my father buying a bike specially made for him in a tiny village somewhere in Italy. We had to drive for hours just to spend a whole day in a Garage full of Colnago bikes.
I also remember as a teenager that I had to go to England with my father spending my summer holidays – bike riding through England and doing Bread &Breakfast.
I know you love riding the bike in Tuscany – how about in England, where the weather is not so nice?
I used to go biking in the area of Nottingham – my hometown, so I did 300-400 miles a week but now just now in Tuscany during the summer (laughs….) because my Job is so full of traveling all the time! Today Hamburg, next week Japan, Taipeh and Spain
What did you learn by cycling?
Oh, absolutely! You learn about team spirit, about helping each other. You hear about the importance of discipline and keeping fit. But it’s really team spirit to me. I have about 1.500 people working in Europe with me...that need to be all coordinated.
Wouldn’t it be funny to put all of them on a bike at once?
Well, in London I have a parking space for bikes and showers and washing machines, so we made plenty of room for that.
But isn’t it dangerous to bike in a big City like London? I think bikers and car drivers do have a very special relationship, don’t they?
Sadly enough, yes – we lost about 30-40 People already in London dead. Yes, so dangerous. They try to make it more save in the city. The most dangerous thing is to turn left for some reason people got knocked over.
Except typical biking gear (which you have some wonderful examples in your collection) would you suggest: How can you ride a bike in Style?
Well there is a lot more clothes in the urban Streetwear to choose from. At one point it was only lycra, lycra, lycra but I have done a new suit you can use on a bike, that does not crease and is functional and suitable for work.
I think there is nothing more sexy than a man in a suit on a bike.
Yeah, well I always bike in a suit in London all the time. That’s why I designed a suit that does not crease – but it’s also very good for travelling. But I worked with Raffa as well and in Florence (Pitti Uomo) we showed also some waterproofed and practical clothes and there are always some sportive elements in my collection.
When somebody wants to start bicycling again. What would you recommend a true beginner?
Well it all depends, what kind of bike you want to ride. Beside racing bikes there are those beautiful Dutch bikes you can ride….so start to make up your mind up which bike to choose from and go from there.
Well I remember when I was teenager biking through your country and My father gave me those hot biking pants – too bad he did not tell me to not wear my underwear with them…
Laughs….oh, too bad – really sorry for you. Well it makes you bottom soar and it takes time to get used to it.
If you climb up the hill on a bike. At what point you leave the saddle?
Well I am long legged so I always try to climb up the hill in the saddle, so you push your butt down the saddle and you might change to a little gear and then just go on to the bars and so on…
But honestly don’t you think biking and spending time with a bike is a man thing?
No, not at all. Like Rugby, soccer and Football – there are a lot of women doing this kind of sports now. And there is a pretty good women bike racing team as well in England. So go for it!
Ich habe mich von Sir Paul Smith inspirieren lassen und mir überlegt, mit welchen Outfits ich stylisch in den Sattel steigen würde. Hier meine Lieblingslooks:
Mein Cruiser mit den breiten Reifen von Electra ist nicht schnell aber super comfy