Doncaster designer headed for Hollywood
Tottering on the brink of death, Doncaster artist and designer, Richard Gair was offered a combined kidney and pancreas transplant.
The transplant not only saved his life and cured his diabetes but proved the catalyst for a glittering new career in fashion which he had always dreamed of.
Richard’s bespoke hand painted leather designs have been endorsed by big names in metal like Saxon and Iron Maiden.
The 47-year-old is sought after by advertising agencies and wardrobe departments around the country for television dramas.
Despite a debilitating illness he has set his sights on Hollywood and is taking his designs to Los Angeles next week.
Battling with chronic pain and depression, this hasn’t deterred him from fulfilling his dream of seeing his designers on the runway in Los Angeles ahead of LA Fashion Week this month.
His unique hand painted jackets with his brand Gogairy, are being sent to the USA this week ahead of the Los Angeles Lifestyle Fashion Showcase, a fringe show set up by UK fashion PR expert Amanda Moss who is taking UK designers with her. Already the show has caught the attention of LA fashion Week, who have taken the show under their wing.
Diagnosed with type one diabetes at 17, Richard developed kidney failure two decades later. Now with a new kidney and pancreas following a double organ transplant in 2017; his diabetes is cured but he faces a daily concoction of 20 drugs and two injections just to stay alive.
Richard’s current ailments include strong opiates to relieve the pain from an abdominal hernia that protrudes fifteen inches and causes him movement difficulties with extreme pain in prolonged sitting while working. In addition he has a broken foot and crushed bones in his left ankle and he is on a waiting list for a bonus fusion operation to correct his ankle. In the meantime he has to wear a boot cast and walk with a stick.
Richard started his fashion design career as a way of coping with his illness, he used painting as a therapy to cope with his debilitating depression following his operation. In addition to his own health he is the sole carer of his elderly father and uncle who has learning difficulties.
Richard said, “ It’s always been my dream to go to Hollywood and if I can’t make it then at least my jackets can.
“I’ve already commissioned some pieces for rock band Iron Maiden and now a fan has asked for a Lost Boys jacket to be signed by Keifer Sutherland. Gogairy is going places even if I can’t. Hollywood better be ready for my jackets.”
Richard is currently working on a new 3D collection for his Horrorcon festival. These jackets have latex rubber images actually attached to them.
He describes his latest collection as wearable art pieces depicting aspects of his journey from severe depression and suicidal thoughts, through his relationships and his being a victim of bullying, to his ongoing recovery and hopefully fulfilling at least part of a dream of seeing his designs on the high street.
Richard added. “I do my best thinking alone but it’s only with the help of others in my team of incredible artists and friends that has allowed myself and GoGairy to come so far in such a short time. I’m so very fortunate and count my blessings daily.”
Richard works with a team of incredible artists, Bekki, Jenny, Lindsay and Pete, who he said “Saved the brand, saved my sanity and above all, had a big part in saving my life”.
Richard added: “There’s no one doing exactly what we’re doing so I am just going to go for it. After my ‘darker times’ I’m not letting up. I’ve had the beast on my back and it’s claws in my flesh and shook the damn thing off!
“I am so excited for what the future brings. I am getting commissions now. I have the team, the talent and the determination. Physically I may look drained but the fire in burning in my belly and the mind is full of creative ideas I am ready to develop.
“Eventually I want to open a creative studio; a place to fill it with artists, dancers. skaters, foodies, all kinds of creative minds. It will be a hub that people can come together to express themselves artistically. That’s the dream, along with owning and living in a canal narrow boat!”
Richard has never married, saying “My confidence has always been at rock bottom, who would have had me? He often turns this into a joke saying he is terrified of women!
“But I am thinking now that I might be ready and who knows what will happen in the future. I am excited, I feel like the superheroes I draw. There’s no stopping me now”.
To find out more about the brand and view Richard’s work and buy pieces online visit www.gogairy.co.uk