Paul Smith talks David Bowie and London

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British fashion icon Sir Paul Smith has spoken exclusively in ES Magazine’s latest issue about the future of his company, politics and his concerns for creativity in London.

“London has changed a lot in terms of rent structure, which is a killer of creativity,” he says of the fashion capital. “The sad thing is that eventually property moguls investing in the London market will realise that at some point you have to stop because you will have empty shops.”

Photographed by David Bailey for the publication, Sir Paul also describes his relationship with David Bowie. “He asked me to do the T-shirts to go with Blackstar, which was launched on 8th January,” Smith explains. “I got a call in November, asking if I could do a T-shirt of a black star to be launched a minute after midnight on the 8th, which we did. Sadly, on the 10th he died. It was a day I was doing London Collection Men, so I was on show and trying to be brave and strong but like many people was incredibly sad.”

Of his business philosophy he explains that he always asks himself, “‘Does it come from the heart?’ It was never about money, any of it. So we can always say that. It came from the heart.” Despite 40 years in the business, he still believes that someone else is to thank for his successes. “It’s my missus, more than anyone, who keeps me going. Really, without her, I think I would just have been a shop assistant in Nottingham.”

The full interview appears in this week’s issue of ES Magazine, out Thursday 10th March 2016.

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