Paul Smith thinks people shouldn’t “take themselves too seriously”.

The 75-year-old fashion designer - who opened his first shop in Nottingham more than 50 years ago - believes in the importance of keeping grounded and polite no matter how successful you become.

Paul told Sharp magazine: “Never take yourself too seriously, and always remember that nobody cares how good you used to be. Keep your feet on the ground. Think laterally. Say please and thank you.”

The menswear designer revealed that he still gets “nervous” when he meets people despite being in the business for more than half a century but credits his father for helping to just get on with it.

He said: “I think I’m just really ordinary with everybody. They’re probably as nervous about meeting me as I am about meeting them, so why not just go, 'Hi everybody!” I really cite my dad for that.”

The ‘Royal Designer for Industry’ also spoke of his sadness about everything being so similar and how people needed to “fight against it”.

Paul said: “People are just nervous to be themselves and the whole world is so homogenized. It’s so sad really. Because we’re all, for some reason, trying to keep up and trying to, you know, be responsible to the turnover of the company or whatever — which I understand, of course. When you fight against it, you’ve got to keep your feet on the ground. You can still can have a bit of lateral thinking.”

He also attributed his long career to be being “a bit mad” and being prepared to collaborate with other brands outside of the fashion world.

Paul said: “I’m a bit mad, you know. I’ve worked with Leica Cameras, Pinarello bicycles. My company works well. I love my job. So, anything outside of that is just fantastic fun for me. If I can make a little bit of money out of it, that’s great, but that’s not why I do it. I love to be scared. I do a lot of public speaking, and I’m always frightened.”