Mr Michael Smith

Fast Facts

Biography

Considered one of interior design's most respected talents, Mr Smith’s style has been characterised as a blend of “European tradition and American modernism”. He has a signature furniture and fabric line, Jasper, which is sold exclusively in multi-line showrooms across the US and UK. Most recently, his work was celebrated in two best-selling books from Rizzoli Publishing: Elements of Style and Houses. He once coined the term “surfer tiara” in American Vogue when referring to sunglasses worn in the hair. He was then on the receiving end when, having just redecorated the White House in beige, the New York Times referred to the makeover with the headline “The Audacity of Taupe”. His latest book, Building Beauty: The Alchemy of Design, was released in May 2013. www.michaelsmithinc.com

Mr Smith's Recommendations

FAVOURITE RESTAURANT AND DISH

“I like the dover sole at Scott's, and always find it difficult to choose a pudding. Also, State Road in Martha’s Vineyard. Any fish is delicious.”

BEST BAR

“The freshly squeezed orange juice from the coffee counter at The Beverly Hills Hotel.”

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VACATION CHOICE

“Anywhere with beautiful water – the Caribbean, Mexico, etc.”

TOP CITY

“Los Angeles for the quality of life and my ability while here to stay focused on what I’m working on.”

FAVOURITE HOTEL

The Lowell in New York City for the rooms (I designed them) and fireplaces; the Round Hill Hotel and Villas Resort for not having to wear shoes, the wonderful people and beautiful water; and Le Meurice in Paris for the views of the Tuileries Garden and the great coffee.”

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TYPE OF BAG

“I use a canvas bag with my company name made by Atlantic Sail in Maryland and a three-year-old Bottega Veneta woven tote bag.”

FAVOURED BRAND

“I don’t have a favourite – it depends on my mood. I like Ralph Lauren, Richard James , Levi's Vintage Clothing , Converse shoes, John Lobb .”

ESSENTIAL WARDROBE ITEM

“Jeans and custom monogrammed Polo Ralph Lauren shirts – because in California, that is dressed up.”

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MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN

“My five-year-old goddaughter, Ava.”

STYLE ICON

Gianni Agnelli for dressing impeccably but with a twist and for being an individual; Fred Astaire for obvious reasons; will.i.am for being extraordinarily eccentric; and my boyfriend, James Costos, for looking dashing while being drenched in the rain.”

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STYLE TIP

“Buy things that are of the greatest quality, simple and last a long time and wear them frequently so they become part of who you are.”

TAILOR

“I use Vita Gavrylyuk in Los Angeles and Anderson & Sheppard in London.”

BEST SHIRT BRAND

“I would have to go for Charvet in Paris, and Margaret Howell for the construction of the collar and the weight of the fabric.”

FAVOURITE SUIT

Anderson & Sheppard, Richard James , Ralph Lauren Purple Label and Arnys in Paris.”

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CUT OF TROUSERS

Levi's Vintage Clothing jeans.”

JEANS BRAND

Levi's Vintage Clothing 501s and Rogan jeans.”

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UNDERWEAR CHOICE

“Hanro.”

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PREFERRED JACKET STYLE

“I like them cut like a shirt for an informal and fitted look, and with a classically English high armhole for everything else.”

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SHOE MAKER

“White-gold metallic Converse All Stars because they go with everything.”

FAVOURITE GROOMING PRODUCT

“Kiehl’s Crème with Silk Groom, because without it my hair is crazy and messy.”

DREAM CAR

“Vintage Jaguar with Cane panels and custom cashmere carriage rugs that belonged to the late San Francisco designer John Dickinson.”

WATCH BRAND

“Timex with ribbon band from J.Crew , Rolex silver Daytona and a 1950s gold Cartier tank on a leather strap.”

ESSENTIAL GADGET

“Blackberry and Tumi Mobile Power Pack.”

BEST BOOK

“Joan Didion’s The White Album because I took it with me when I studied in Europe and it always reminded me of the texture and feel of California.”

FAVOURITE ALBUM

“In public: Nike Drake’s Pink Moon. In private: Xanadu soundtrack.”

Brands Favoured by Mr Smith