I-RECALL: Private Surf - Paul Gordon, the managing director of the brand and marketing communications agency CCHM, tries the Paul Smith website on for size

Despite having been around for aeons, Paul Smith has carved out a

distinctive niche and style that remains as fresh and distinctive as the

day he opened his first shop in Nottingham in 1970. Hundreds of fashion

trends have come and gone while this brand has steadfastly stuck to its

core values and outlasted them all.

One look at the website and you'll see why. Winner of a 2000 Webby Award

by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences for the best

fashion website, the opening screen begins with an animated Union Jack

and a dynamic backing track. From there on, it never looks back.

As you'd expect from a fashion house that defined Cool Britannia before

the phrase was even invented, the site is stylish, fun and bang on


Everything you ever wanted to know about Paul Smith is here, ranging

from the company's history and latest news to a virtual catwalk showing

all the latest gear. The site is not only informative but involves you

in a way that both broadens and adds to the brand experience.

That's not to say it's seamless. The use of Flash is excessive and there

is little to offer in terms of functionality - the site merely exists to

offer a web presence for Paul Smith and to act as a brochure for

existing products. The actual distributor link is not prominent and is

difficult to find.

Still, these are mere gripes. The overall attention to detail is

outstanding - even down to the worldwide domain name hosting at '.co.uk'

in keeping with the brand's quintessential Britishness. A small point,

perhaps, but a nice touch when one considers there are more than 200

Paul Smith shops in Japan alone.


Owner Paul Smith

Site positioning Global website of the

Paul Smith brand showcasing the company and its product ranges

Launched 1997

Developed by Foresight Europe

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