پنجشنبه 21 آذر 1392
نویسنده: Randall Farris
FASHION designer Sir Paul Smith was back on home ground on Wednesday night to sign copies of a new book celebrating over 40 years in the industry.
Fans queued to meet him and get an autographed copy of Hello, My Name is Paul Smith: Fashion and Other Stories, which gives an insight into the career of the Beeston-born lad who went on to become a global success.
The 272-page volume is not an autobiography (he openly admits he didn’t write it despite being named as one of the authors) and it’s not a fashion bible, although there are photographs of just a few of his many designs.
“It’s not really about me, it’s more about the way I work,” he said.
“One of the nicest comments I’ve had was from a gentleman who said ‘I bought your book and over the weekend every member of my family, from my eight-year-old son to my mother who is in her 70s, all enjoyed the book. That was really lovely,” says 67-year-old Sir Paul.
The pages are brought to life with photos of his wife Pauline, his parents, famous visitors to his studio – Gary Barlow and David Tennant to name but two – and fun shots of Paul spinning plates.
Children he met while designing a new tie at his former school, Beeston Fields Primary, appear and so do rabbit figurines, sent to Sir Paul from fans around the world. He explained: “I said many years ago rabbits were good luck for me... I should have said diamonds but I said rabbits,” he sighed in jest.
He came up with the book’s title. “I am quite a down-to earth-guy and I don’t presume that people know who I am. If I book a restaurant I don’t expect to know who I am. It’s a more grounded title.”
Despite being mobbed by autograph hunters in Japan, Sir Paul said he’s happy to be able to walk down a street unnoticed in Nottingham and London.
“I get a few people coming up to me. But because I have purposely not done much TV work luckily my face is not so well known. That pleases me as it means I can be quite anonymous. I’m quite a private person,” he said.
Despite this Sir Paul was more than happy to pose for photos and chat to fans during the signing at his flagship Willoughby House store in Middle Pavement – just a stone’s throw from where his career began in cramped shop in Byard Lane in 1970.
Criminology graduate Lizzie Riley, 21, of Arnold, and her brother Matt, 35, queued to have books, bought by their mum Sue, signed.
Lizzie became hooked on Sir Paul’s fashions after Matt bought her a £190 mini skirt as a 16th birthday present, while Matt has a wardrobe full of his designs. The railway engineer said: “I have been a fan for years. I remember the first little shop where I bought a stripy shirt. I’ve still got it somewhere.”
Howard Lowe, who grew up in Bramcote and now builds huge yachts around the world, took the opportunity to meet Sir Paul for the first time after wearing his clothes for 20 years.
The 35-year-old said of the book: “It looks interesting, the background into Paul’s life and how he began and now he’s a big global brand.”
One of Sir Paul’s youngest fans Imilia Rana, 12, from Ruddington, received a kiss on the cheek as well as an autographed book. “The book looks really good, I like the pictures in it,” she said.
The book has been published – is in association with an exhibition of the same name at London’s Design Museum and has been written by museum director Deyan Sudjic and head of curatorial Donna Loveday.
* Hello, My Name is Paul Smith, published by Rizzoli, is available from Willoughby House priced £40.cheap formal dresses online