Paul Smith: Nottingham's own fashion icon returns to the town for special exhibition

Paul Smith Exhibition, Nottingham

Just over 50 years ago, Paul Smith opened a small shop in Nottingham city centre, selling designer clothes for men. Now more than half a century later, he's a global fashion icon with more than 70 stores all over the world.

Despite his success, the fashion icon has never forgotten his roots, and today he was at Nottingham Castle where more than fifteen hundred of his most prized objects are on display as part of an exhibition.

Paul Smith Exhibit, 'Inside Paul's Head'

Today Paul Smith is an internationally renowned designer. But it all started from very humble beginnings - in 1970 at a store - 3 metres by 3 metres - in Byard Lane in Nottingham. 

Fast forward 51 years and Paul Smith stores are now found in more than 70 countries. But in a nod to the early days, one part of his life is illustrated at the exhibition as a reminder to stay grounded.

Also on show is a recreation of Paul Smith's current office. Stuffed with objects, material, and designs - both personal and donated - that are precious to him. Including the very 1st Dyson vacuum cleaner which Paul agreed to sell in his shop.

Over the years Paul Smith has earned a reputation for his distinctive design. From his iconic stripe patterns, to eye-catching clothing. He's even designed bikes and clothing for the Giro D'Italia race - perhaps not surprising having grown up a huge cycling fan. After being on show in 14 different locations around the world, this exhibition is the final leg of the tour. Quite a journey from a tiny men's clothing shop in Nottingham. 

As well as designing clothes for the catwalk, Paul Smith has a mentor programme for students, aimed at helping them make their way in the fashion world. And after a lifetime in the industry Paul has a very simple message about how best to succeed.

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