Remembering David Bowie

A tribute to the late (and indisputably great) David Bowie, a long-time friend of Paul and influence on the designer.

Share this story

After his untimely passing in 2016, Paul paid tribute to his friend and collaborator. "I feel very fortunate to say that he was a friend and a customer. I was privileged to work with him at points throughout his career and feel very lucky to have known him,” he said. “He was a truly exceptional artist and individual. We will all miss him.”

David lost his battle with cancer just days after the release of Blackstar (or ★), his final record. Whether it’s the minimalist sleeve design or the unexpected jazz influences on the record, Blackstar presents a snapshot of an artist in perpetual motion.

“I was delighted when he asked me to collaborate on the release of The Next Day in 2013 and equally delighted to work with him again on creating a T-shirt for the release of Blackstar,” Paul explains.

Two years after their initial partnership, Paul, David and graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook reconnected to celebrate Bowie’s 28th studio album, which was released on the artist’s 69th birthday.

In 2019, Paul was asked to work on a new 50th anniversary rerelease of David’s revolutionary album, Space Oddity, that made its debut with the single of the same name in 1969. The special edition featured the work of photographer Vernon Dewhurst and illustrator George Underwood and was an edition of 3000. Its release was accompanied by an exhibition of photographic prints by Vernon Dewhurst and Ray Stevenson at Paul Smith’s Albemarle Street shop.

Conventional wisdom suggests that artists move toward the mainstream as they age, but Bowie’s remarkable power of reinvention always bucked this trend. David will be remembered as a true pioneer of music, stagecraft and style and as a man of unwavering kindness and principle. His legacy lives on.

Discover More

Events & Exhibitions

Worldwide FM

Paul Smith and radio station, Worldwide FM, partnered to host a mini-series of jazz sessions.




Discover the Paul Smith partnership with lighting specialist Anglepoise.


Do you want to keep in touch?

Enter your email