The exhibition, “Hello, my name is Paul Smith” convinced 41,449 people to come visit the Hasselt Fashion Museum. “That’s a brand-new record amount of visitors for the Fashion Museum,” says museum director Kenneth Ramaekers.
“The previous record was in 2013 with the ‘Axelle Red-FashionVictim’ exhibition,” adds Ramaekers. “At that point, the tally was 25,156 visitors for this exhibition about the Belgian singer Axelle Red.
This exhibition on the career of Sir Paul Smith has broken all the records. Not just in the amount of visitors, but for example, we have never sold as many catalogues (602 copies) before and we could have sold more; the last week, we had to make do without any because our stock was completely depleted. This is exceptional for a catalogue that had already been published a year and a half earlier. The museum shop also made its best profits ever,” says Ramaekers.
“Naturally, this is due to the major (international) media attention that the exhibition received. This made many of the visitors, both at home and abroad, curious. Plenty of Dutch, as well as German and French people made their way to the museum; even people from places like Norway, Spain, Australia and Japan who made a detour during their travels to visit the exhibition in Hasselt.”
“It’s an exhibition that has given us high marks both here in Belgium and abroad,” says Hasselt Alderwoman for Culture Karolien Mondelaers. “With nearly 41,500 visitors, this exhibition was a bull’s eye! In addition to a record amount of visitors to the Fashion Museum, it also had a major tourism impact for the City of Hasselt itself. Many vendors joined in the theme as well, and the other tourist attractions and accommodations could bring in even more visitors. Moreover, the arrival of this exhibition, as well as that of Sir Paul Smith himself - contributed to Hasselt’s positive image as the Capital of Taste.”
During the exhibition, you could learn about the sharp-witted designer behind this typical British label that started out small and has growing into one of the most leading fashion labels in the world. The exhibition starts with Paul Smith’s personal archive. From the first pieces that he sold in a tiny boutique in Nottingham to the pieces selected from his most recent collections by the designer himself.
This exhibition was not only interesting to the fashionistas; the avid photographers, and design and art lovers were also pleasantly surprised. “People have gotten the chance to learn about the man behind the brand. Someone with a great deal of humour and a massive amount of drive. His one true goal is to inspire young people to follow their dreams and to become entrepreneurs. In addition to this, a lot of people have been able to meet this jolly soul in person, which was a very pleasant surprise for many,” adds Ramaekers.
The Hasselt Fashion Museum is currently closed until Friday, 11 September. Then the new exhibition, “JAZZ AGE”, about the Roaring Twenties, will open with spectacular examples from the 1920s and with influences from designers like Chanel, Patou and Vionnet through to “contemporary” fashion.