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Sibling’s Sid Bryan, Joe Bates and Cozette McCreery
Sibling’s Sid Bryan, Joe Bates and Cozette McCreeryvia

Tributes pour in for Sibling’s Joe Bates

As the label’s co-founder passes away, members of the fashion industry honour the fearless creative

Yesterday LOVE magazine announced that Joe Bates, Sibling’s joint creative director, has passed away. Bates, who co-founded the label – famous for its reinvigorated knitwear – with Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery, died of cancer, aged 47. LOVE announced the news via its Instagram account yesterday afternoon. 

“RIP our gorgeous and beloved friend Joe Bates of Sibling,” wrote the caption to a picture of the designer. “He lost his long battle with cancer at the weekend. We will miss his sharp wit and talent hugely, his legacy will continue through the Sibling label.”

Hailing from Leicester, Bates worked as head of design at Jaeger before launching Sibling with McCreery and Bryan in 2008. The label’s woollen creations quickly earned them a reputation as one of London Fashion Week’s most innovative and playful brands. Sibling’s latest collection brought together the worlds of knitwear and American football to a sexually provocative end.

Following yesterday’s announcement, McCreery told us. “Myself and Sid at Sibling would like to take the opportunity to thank all our supporters for sending love, positivity and happiness in their messages. It means so much to us and the Sibling family.”

Tributes have been pouring in from members of the fashion industry, crediting not only his huge talent but his warm personality too. “RIP the magnificent Joe Bates. A true gentleman sparkling full of life and warmth,” wrote founder and director of Fashion East Lulu Kennedy.

“Joe was the first interview I ever did as editor of LOVE magazine – on my first day, and my first shoot,” fashion editor of The Independent Alexander Fury told us. “He's the first voice on the recording – and he's asking who my favourite Spice Girl is. I'll always remember that, and it'll always make me smile.” 

“It's really representative of Joe,” he continued. “Of his humour, sure, which came out in his designs. But also of how warm-hearted and genuine and down-to-earth he was, and how he made me – and many others – feel quickly and easily at ease. He was a wonderful person, and I'm lucky for having known him, although for far too little time.”