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Nov 15 - Mar 09

Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London, , SE1 2YD, UK
  • © Paul Smith

  • © Paul Smith

  • © Paul Smith


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Hello, my name is Paul Smith exhibition at the Design Museum, London

The creative universe of Paul Smith is the subject of the “Hello, my name is Paul Smith” exhibition that the Design Museum dedicates to the famous British designer. The exhibition, which includes an extensive look at the designer’s archive, offers visitors the chance to take an exciting journey into his mind and discover what inspires him. It also explores, according to the organizers, how Paul Smith’s intuitive take on design, together with an understanding of the roles of designer and retailer, have laid the foundations for the brand’s lasting success.

The exhibition counts with Paul Smith’s collaboration and covers every step of his 40-year career, featuring a recreation of the first shop that he opened in Nottingham back in 1970. It also showcases a makeshift version of the designer’s office, including artworks, bikes (after all, Paul Smith always dreamed of being a professional cyclist), toys, travel souvenirs, records and books that serve as his inspiration as well as a big selection of the gifts he receives on a daily basis from his numerous fans around the globe. An entire room is dedicated to his various collaborations, from his original take on the legendary Mini to his creations for The Rug Company, Evian or Leica. There is also a special section that pays tribute to his wife, Pauline Denyer, who is also a fashion designer and, according to Paul Smith, taught him all aspects of design, apart from being an inexhaustible source of support and inspiration. Finally, the exhibition features a wide selection of Paul Smith’s collections, offering insights into his tailoring secrets and the making process of his designs, as well as a film of his latest men’s catwalk.

The designer revealed to The Guardian that, despite its focus on fashion, he hopes that the exhibition will be “non-elitist” and reach a wider audience than just industry students. It will aim to contextualize a catwalk show as part of the process of design rather than the endgame and offer an insight into production, craftsmanship and marketing. Last but not least, it aims to encourage people in their own creativity. Donna Loveday, the exhibition’s curator, praised Smith’s unique and innovative take on design and his inventive approach to print and pattern, along with his warmth, humor and wit. “A lot of people love Paul Smith,” Loveday told recently to Vogue UK. “We’ve designed it in such a way that it’ll appeal to a broad audience (…) The public is very familiar with him, but even those who think that they know it all will hopefully find out something new about him.”

“Hello, my name is Paul Smith” runs until 9 March 2014 at the Design Museum, London, and is accompanied by a special edition coffee table book, edited by long time Paul Smith collaborator Alan Aboud and published by Rizzoli.