Designer Smith throws socks, wins smiles at exhibition debut
By Li-mei Hoang
LONDON (Reuters) - Eclectic men's fashion designer Paul Smith, suit maker to Prime Minister David Cameron and footballer David Beckham, kick-started the opening of an exhibition of his work by throwing a pair of his signature stripy socks to the world's media.
"I never miss a trick," he joked at the opening news conference as he opened a black bag filled with his latest perfumes, stripy socks and patterned note pads and lobbed them at the audience with gusto.
The quirky 67-year-old, dressed in a navy suit and green and floral patterned shirt, is famous for injecting wry humor into his brand, which spans suits, socks, shirts and ties.
The exhibition, "Hello My Name is Paul Smith", which runs until March, shows how Smith, one of Britain's most successful designers, built up his brand and includes a mock-up of his first store in Nottingham, a replica of his office and a video following him through the process of a fashion show.
It also dedicates a huge gallery to paintings, photographs and drawings he has collected over the years, as well as letters he has received from legions of fans around the world.
"The post everyday is ridiculous. There's some brilliant stuff, very humbling," Smith told Reuters in an interview.
One fan wrote to the designer about her dream to own a Paul Smith dress, which his team made for her in three days, just in time for her 90th birthday. Continued...