Fashion designers reach out to family

New Zealand fashion designers have stepped forward to help Dunedin family (from left) Oli Biggs, Amie Richardson, Jasper Biggs and Wayne Biggs. Photo supplied.
New Zealand fashion designers have stepped forward to help Dunedin family (from left) Oli Biggs, Amie Richardson, Jasper Biggs and Wayne Biggs. Photo supplied.

Compassion is in fashion.

New Zealand fashion designers will show in Dunedin this weekend that what comes around, goes around.

iD Fashion Week publicist Amie Richardson's husband, Wayne Biggs, was diagnosed with cancer just weeks before the 2014 iD Fashion Week in March.

The illness forced Mr Biggs (42) to leave his job as media manager for NHNZ's ZooMoo children's channel and Ms Richardson (36) to reduce her work to look after her husband and children.

''Wayne's disease came without warning and has completely turned our lives upside-down,'' Ms Richardson said yesterday.

''We have gone from being a normal family, coping with all the typical everyday ups and downs of life with two small children, to complete upheaval, facing a giant uphill battle that seems to bring new challenges at every turn.''

Mr Biggs has been receiving chemotherapy for the aggressive stage four lymphoma, in the hope of a bone marrow transplant.

Friends responded by establishing the Biggo Trust to help the couple and their two sons, Oli (5) and Jasper (2).

New Zealand designers have donated more than $16,000 of items to a fundraising fashion sale in Dunedin tomorrow.

''Aart on St Andrew owner Darryl McNamara and I wanted to do something to help the family and let them to know they're not alone on this journey,'' sale organiser and family friend Merrin Bath said yesterday.

Ms Richardson said she was ''absolutely overwhelmed'' by the support of the fashion community.

''I have worked with many of these extraordinary designers during my time with iD Fashion Week and I am humbled by the generosity and love they have shown to my family.''

Some of New Zealand's leading designers have donated clothing to the sale, including Carlson, Charmaine Reveley, Company of Strangers, Dada, Lela Jacobs, Moodie Tuesday, Mild-Red, Mister, Tamsin Cooper, Nom*D, Silkbody and Storm.

''We wanted to do something practical to help the family,'' Dunedin designer Charmaine Reveley said.

''Amie has done so much to help designers at iD Fashion over the years and we wanted to do something to show our appreciation and help her back. Hopefully, it will really well supported.''

The designer fashion sale is on from noon till 2pm tomorrow at Aart on St Andrew.

Donations to the Biggs family can be made to The Biggo Trust, 03 1517 0055674 010, or via www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/thebiggotrust.

- nigel.benson@odt.co.nz

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