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UK fashion designer and style icon Paul Smith has been at the forefront of British menswear for three decades.


And he has dyslexia.

Smith fell into design quite by accident. After years of struggle he left school at age 15 with no qualifications to carry forward.

“My biggest regret is my lack of education. I left school at 15 with no qualifications. Not even the 11-plus. This conversation is bringing home to me what an absolute thicko I am. I tend to feel inadequate if I’m at a dinner party and the subjects start getting heavy. Then it’s on with the court jester’s jacket, I’m afraid… Dyslexia has had a big effect on my life. Up to a few years ago I’d never managed to finish a book.”

He originally had ambitions to be a champion cyclist, but soon after leaving school, he was in a near fatal cycling accident. During his slow recovery, he met a group of artists who inspired his creative side.

At age 20 he managed to scrape together to open his own tailored clothing store in Nottinghamshire. And the rest, as they say, is history!

Sarah Forrest is a Reading Specialist for Morgan Learning Solutions, publisher of the Easyread System. Easyread is a specialized online program for children with highly visual learning styles, dyslexia, auditory processing issues and more.