Joe Bates, the joint creative director of Siblings, recently breathed his last after a “long battle with cancer”. The designer had a prolific career during which he became a name to reckon with in menswear collection. Along with Siblings’ partners Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery, Bates was one of the most sought-after designers at the London Fashion Week.
Bates, 47, was easily identifiable in the fashion world as the hatted, ever-voluble co-founder of Sibling. Social media sites were abuzz as friends, well-wishers from the industry and fans from around the world used the platform to pay their condolences to the designer.
The Sibling’s co-founder has often been credited as being one of the leading designers who brought new color and fervor to menswear. Siblings’ designs have always been innovative and engaging, and have always lightened up the British catwalk.
Bates made his last public appearance recently on the catwalk at the end of the recent spring/summer 2016 menswear show at London Collections: Men. This was the last time he took a bow from his fellow designers and models. Though he wasn’t keeping well, Bates contributed in designing for the Spring 2016 Menswear collection. The collection showcased traditional sportswear in a new avatar with the use of sequins, beading, and jacquard.
Once during an interview, Bates had stated that his average childhood spent in Leicester helped him become what he achieved as a designer. As a child, he had wanted to escape his situation. He recalled, “I escaped as soon as I could like my hair was on fire to come to London.”
Sibling was born when Bates and his friends Bryan and McCreery were on a holiday with other friends. One day during the holiday, Bates chanced upon a men’s show browsing on the computer. He disappointedly remembered during an interview that all the designs were very dry. “Not crap designers of course, you’re talking about brilliant designers, brilliant houses with the best people in them, but it was so patronizing that all that was being offered was gray or navy or white or black,” he told during the interview. It was then that the three friends decided that they weren’t going to sit and moan but do something about it. They decided to inject some color and sparkle into the menswear market.
From that day till the last day of Bates's life, Team Sibling achieved most of what they had desired. They have successfully infused a new fervor to the menswear line. The remaining duo of Sibling will continue without Bates because this is what he always wanted.