ChangesThere are some musicians who inspire with their words, for perhaps a decade or two, but David Bowie was a man who not only influenced our emotions, he also governed our make up, hair and fashion choices over an eclectic five decades.
It could be so easy to make this blog my own emotional ode to David, who passed away this Sunday, just two days after his 69th birthday. But knowing what a huge inspiration he has been to the likes of leading make up artists like Pat McGrath and hair icons like Sam McKnight, it makes so much more sense to speak to the industry that embraced David wholeheartedly.
The most referenced individual in fashion.
I grew up with Bowie, having two older brothers in the room next to mine it's all I heard every day! It became apparent to me at a young age that he was very iconic. He single-handedly changed how we as a nation felt about metrosexuality and androgyny.
Tracey Devine Smith
David Bowie was a rock god and a style icon; he influenced the fashion and beauty industry like no other. He was so experimental with his presence and was never afraid to change his style – even his name, and that's what made him a genius.
Throughout my career I've looked into David’s world for inspiration; my last tribute was in our Toni & Guy Project 10 collection,where I took reference from his album cover for Raw and even named the look The Bowie.
Efi Davies, Toni & Guy
Bowie the man and his music were an important influence in my life – I guess I was around 12 when my young mind was introduced to his poetry and music. From the early days of Ziggy I clearly remember the buzz and excitement of listening to his music and craving his androgynous fashion. It literally blew my mind and created thoughts I had no idea I could have! Watching him evolve and invent his many different facades through the decades has been an inspiration to me, and millions like me. He’s left an everlasting legacy to style in hair – the long fair locks, the little red haircut, the all-American blonde…
Julie Allen, Jools PR
Bowie was a true British icon with boundless creativity that tied music, fashion and art together.
Mark Woolley, Electric Hairdressing
It was sad, surreal, yet incredible and lovely to be in Brixton the night we had heard David had died, as Brixton was the place where it all began, where he was born. There were tears, singing, chattering and laughter – the amount of people who came out to celebrate his life was just overwhelming. Testament to how he and his music touched people from every walk of life.
Becky Lockett, Music Publicist
'I only saw Bowie live in concert once: Milton Keynes Bowl:Fashion Tour, mid-80s. I can still close my eyes and picture the amazing suits he wore that night. His artistry was beyond everything and everybody, and has gone beyond generations. Listening to nothing but his music this week, I was aware how often I've been at hair shows where Bowie's music has been used to express the creativity of the hairdresser. He was a storyteller and his music allowed others to express themselves. He was fearless in the way he expressed himself. In the late ‘70s and ‘80s his strong spiky haircuts and varying hair colours influenced and inspired many hairdressers to recreate his look for both men and women – we all wanted to look like him. I see him Dancing in the Street with Mick Jagger wearing a beautiful floaty green coat for Band Aid. I see him buried in sand, only his head showing, in his amazing performance in Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, which also gave me a passion for the music of Ruyichi Sakamoto, but I also, of course, see him as Ziggy Stardust. He was ethereal.
Linda Evans, TIGI Global PR
To me, David Bowie was my youth, my identification! Delving into the amazing world of hair in the ‘80s, of course I had the obligatory mullet and of course I bleached my hair, but we all wanted to look like our heroes, and Bowie was mine at the beginning of my career. I had the long trench coat, the blouse shirts and on occasion the eyeliner and eyeshadow!
From extreme disconnection, vibrant orange hair to soft side sweeps and yellow blonde, with every colour and every look in and around his career, Bowie inspired diversity in image. Looking at even the 2015 BHA winners’ collections, you can see the influence his personas from the ‘70s still have.
From the moment I set eyes on Ziggy, David Bowie became a part of my daily life and I absolutely adored everything about him. I had the good fortune to see him on numerous occasions and he failed to disappoint. I’ll even confess to 'borrowing' a massive Time Out billboard of a DB cover from outside the newsagents - which I now have framed in my office!
Julie Bellinger-Gibb, Gorgeous PR
David has been a great inspiration to many hairdressers due to his elaborate style, especially in the ‘70s during the Ziggy Stardust era. His perfect red copper hair and fashion image completed his artistic look and made him the ultimate fashion icon he is today.
Christel Lundqvist TIGI Global Creative Technical Director
David’s eccentricity introduced a new format to music and also to the hair and fashion industries. He showed us a rock/punk style but added a futuristic edge and we have referenced it many, many times in fashion and hairdressing! His androgynous hairstyles encouraged hairdressers to be more open-minded when it came to both male and female clients.
Herman Ho, hermanho.com
"Bowie's influenced fashion, culture and music with an uncompromising drive to do things differently, and do them well. He never worried about acceptance and challenged perceptions through his work, often at the time seen as controversial, but now seen as the norm. Although portrayed as a rebel, he was actually a true gentleman, who had no ego and just let the creative excellence of his work speak for him. That's a lesson that every hairdresser should learn.
Bowie's fashion style, hair and make up were influential tome from the age of nine or 10. He was an icon. He continued to reinvent himself, which was inspirational to teens at the time. But we still use his imagery today when we shoot or put collections together, because his look always pushed boundaries.
Lisa Whiteman, Webster Whiteman
All imagery sourced from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.