DAVID COLLINS, the interior designer and architect behind some of the world's most glamorous restaurants, bars and boutiques, died last night "peacefully and surrounded by his family".
His death was caused by complications from a virulent skin cancer, an illness that was diagnosed only three weeks ago.
"David will be remembered for his incredible style, but more importantly for his great humour and wit," Tom Konig, his friend and director of public relations company The Communications Store, told us this morning. "We are all heartbroken."
He is survived by two sisters, a brother and his mother. Collins grew up in Dublin and studied architecture at the city's Bolton Street School of Architecture. His move into interior design happened almost accidentally, after he was asked to design a friend's home the day that he had left a secure job.
In 1985, he founded David Collins Studio and has gone on to create the interiors for London institutions such as The Wolseley, Claridge's Bar, Nobu Berkeley, J Sheekey and The Connaught's bar. More recently, he was hired by luxury names in the fashion world - including Bergdorf Goodman, Harrods, Jimmy Choo and Alexander McQueen - to develop tasteful, yet innovative store concepts. His work is characterised by his use of saturated colour, his affinity with shades of blue and varying textures.
"David's death is a shock to everyone who know and love him" for he is responsible for designing many of the most influential London restaurants and bars of our age, he was a dear friend of many, His work merged luxury, glamour and heritage in an inimitable fashion and his company was always of the first and most enjoyable order."
"The things that mattered to David, as much as style and the right shade of blue, were his loyal and long-lasting circle of friends - who were like his family,
"You could always count on him to tell you what's what, to pay you a compliment, to tell you off, to break a diet with a scone or a cake, or to play cards with you. He involved you in all of his life. He adored glamour and beautiful things, and was always rushing off to Loro Piana to buy his mother something fabulous. He had a great sense of humour - he could make you cry with laughter."