Paul Smith was managing his first boutique in Nottingham when, with the encouragement of his girlfriend Pauline Denyer (now wife) and a small amount of savings, he opened a tiny shop in 1970. Paul started to take evening classes for tailoring and with the help of Pauline (an RCA fashion graduate), Paul was able to create what he wanted. By 1976 Paul showed his first menswear collection in Paris under the Paul Smith label. Within 20 years of his introduction to fashion Paul Smith had established himself as the pre-eminent British designer. Paul Smith has the ability to anticipate, and even spark off trends not only in fashion but in the wider context of popular culture.