Hello, my name is Paul Smith

Paul Smith's latest exhibition celebrates the life and work of the famed British fashion designer at London’s Design Museum.
British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith
British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith.

It’s not a retrospective, the British designer Sir Paul Smith confirmed to a reporter for UK’s Metro newspaper about his current show at London’s Design Museum.

The idea was never to be a retrospective. It’s an exhibition about the way I am, he said.

"We just wanted a shop," he added, of his wife Pauline's and his decision to start a fashion business. "I never think about it as a brand. I just think of it as me. That’s why I came up with the title of the exhibition, 'Hello My Name Is Paul Smith'."

Indeed, his 43-year-old brand hinges on his quirks and tastes as an individual – what he describes as "Savile Row meets Mr Bean".

The museum exhibit starts with visitors in a 12ft x 12ft room, the same size as Smith’s first shop in Nottingham. There’s a room dedicated to Pauline, a room modelled on his design studio, one featuring images based on his thoughts and inspirations, and a replica of his office. It’s an exploration of his past collections and a behind-the-curtain look at what has led to a fashion behemoth with an estimated annual turnover of £330million with stores in 73 countries.

Hello My Name is Paul Smith is also the name of a book published by Rizzoli that was released ahead of the exhibition. Produced in association with the Design Museum, the book is illustrated with hand-drawn designs and offers a catalogue of archival photographs and essays.

"Hello My Name Is Paul Smith" opened yesterday and runs until March 9, 2014.