THE
DESIGNER

Paris proved kind to Paul and he quickly found a place in a one-room office overlooking the Place Vendôme. Working for the house of Schiaparelli, once Coco Chanel’s greatest rival, he was introduced to a world of high fashion and surrealism. Original works by Dali, Picasso, Man Ray, Magritte, Cocteau and others filled the walls. It was here that Paul was in his element.

“Il ne s’agit pas de comprendre, il s’agit de croire.”
Jean Cocteau

However, happiness in Paris would not last. Being used to the vast landscapes and wide-open spaces of his native Canada, Paris was small and confining. No green spaces to wander through, no room for new ideas. He became increasingly alone and isolated. It was with a heavy heart he decided to leave Paris, turning his gaze to the North Star, looking for a guiding light.

On the advice of a good friend, Paul moved to Berlin. Not only a city with room to grow, but a city of freedom and opportunity.

At the centre of Tiergarten, the Grosser Stern, emblematic of the North Star.
At its peak, Victoria, the God of Victory and the name of Paul’s childhood home.

The move proved fortuitous. Shortly after arriving Paul would meet the man that saw his potential as a designer and would bring the label into reality. He introduced Paul to important people and gave him the nickname that eventually stuck, der Kleiner Vogel, The Little Bird.

Transforming his bedroom into a makeshift atelier, der Kleiner Vogel began making clothes for close friends and acquaintances– actors, politicians, architects, journalists, artists, people from all sorts of backgrounds. In the wake of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, practicality, form and function were favoured over slavish dedication to trend. The word soon spread. Success was immediate.

2015

Paul opens his first flagship store

In 2015, Paul opened his first store on Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse. Located a stone’s throw away from Brandenburger Tor and Gendarmenmarkt, the location was significant. In a city that was once divided, the store found itself on the border between the two worlds. Neither East nor West, simply Mitte, the centre of the city.

Constructed by Freed, Pei & Cobb, the building’s stunning architecture, marble floors and solid brass finishings would rival any of the most exclusive shopping destinations in Europe. A regular feature in the store, Paul would personally greet and serve customers, setting the path for future stores to come…

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