Sam Smith worked with British designer Christian Cowan on the costumes for their music video for “I’m Not Here to Make Friends,” released in late January. But that doesn’t seem to be all that Smith and Cowan have been working on together. Rumors were already swirling in early 2023 that the pair was connecting on a romantic level as well as an artistic one.
Cowan has quite a reputation among his celebrity clientele, which includes Lady Gaga, Lil Nas X, Heidi Klum, Cardi B, and Jennifer Lopez. Since the beginning of this year, the couple has become more and more open about their relationship, though they have not spoken about it publicly. Here’s Smith and Cowan’s complete relationship timeline so far.
In mid-December, Joe Biden signed the the Respect for Marriage Act at the White House, which protects marriage rights and recognition for same-sex and interracial marriages, and repealed the Defense of Marriage Act. A number of LGBTQIA+ celebs were in attendance, including Smith and Cowan, according to Page Six.
About a month later, Australian tattoo artist MJ, of Markd Tattoo, shared a photo of a tattoo he gave Smith and included a shot of himself with Smith and Cowan at the tattoo shop.
“At first I didn’t believe it when I got an email saying that Sam Smith would like a tattoo from me. Even on the day I thought it was just a hoax,” MJ wrote in the caption on January 16. “One of my proudest moments as a tattoo artist! Thank you and it was lovely meeting you.”
On January 21, Smith was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live and was seen walking with Cowan around New York City arm-in-arm and even sharing a kiss. Paparazzi photos shared by the Daily Mail shows them strolling through SoHo, Smith wearing a yellow coat and button-down and Cowan in a black peacoat.
On Valentine’s Day, Smith attended Cowan’s runway show during New York Fashion Week, wearing a bright red jumpsuit with matching gloves and platform heels, covered in a shimmering silver coat. All the items were designed by Cowan.
The “Unholy” singer was sitting in the front row with Lil Nas X, Teyana Taylor, Bella Thorne, and Orville Peck.
Smith apparently made the trip just after the Brit Awards, solely for Cowan’s show.
On February 17, Smith and Cowan attended the hit musical Some Like it Hot on Broadway and took some pics backstage at The Shubert Theater.
They were seen in New York again in June, walking while holding hands in casual layered looks. Smith wore a striped zip-up shirt and black pants with tiger illustrations printed along the legs. Cowan wore large denim jeans with a matching hat and a large T-shirt.
A few days later, the couple was spotted at the NYC Pride March, sharing a kiss.
The pair was in New York in July too, seen walking around in matching black tank tops, which Smith paired with black shorts and Cowan with leopard print.
On August 29, they were in Los Angeles and photographed at high-end grocery store Erewhon Market. Smith wore all black while Cowan was all in white.
Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at ELLE.com. Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Her first book, The Lonely Hunter, will be released by Dial Press in February 2022.