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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 October 2006, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Designer's debt to cycling repaid
Paul Smith with a Mercian bike
Designer Sir Paul Smith was knocked off his bike in the '60s
World-famous fashion designer Sir Paul Smith is styling a bicycle for a firm that accidentally played a role in getting him into fashion.

In the 1960s, the Nottingham designer was knocked off his Mercian push bike in the city.

Friends he met during his recovery drank at a pub frequented by fashion students and his love for design began.

Now he has styled a range for the Mercian firm, based in Alvaston, Derbyshire, for their 60th anniversary.

He said that, while drinking at the Bell Inn in Slab Square in the city centre he was particularly struck by one of the teachers of the fashion students.

Design by accident

"We fell in love and we lived together and she taught me all aspects of design," he said.

"So she was my teacher. I always describe it as literally falling into fashion and being there by accident."

A cycling enthusiast, he was delighted to get the commission for the bikes.

"They're very light, hand cut, hand painted, they've done a beautiful job," he said.

The bikes are due to go on sale in November.




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