100 wedding dresses donated to charity shop in memory of late fashion designer

100 wedding dresses donated to charity shop in memory of late fashion designer
100 wedding dresses were donated to the British Heart Foundation in Sidcup, London, in memory of the late fashion designer who created them (Danny Fitzpatrick/PA)

A man who donated 100 wedding dresses to charity in memory of his fashion designer friend said he hopes that “someone is getting some benefit and enjoyment from them”.

Adrian Chapman, 56, gifted the new designer wedding dresses to a British Heart Foundation (BHF) shop in Sidcup, south-east London, to commemorate the work of his business partner, Steven Sin, who died after having a heart attack at the age of 54.

Mr Sin, a Malaysian fashion designer, spent a year designing each of the one-of-a-kind wedding dresses after he planned to launch his own fashion collection and enter the bridalwear market.

He died in 2022 before they could be sold.

The pair worked together in the fashion industry for more than 20 years, with Mr Chapman remembering him as “a larger-than-life character” who was “creative” and “flamboyant”.

A photo of Adrian Chapman and Steven Sin sitting together at a pub and smiling at the cameraAdrian Chapman (left) and Steven Sin (right) worked together in the fashion industry for more than 20 years (Adrian Chapman/PA)

“He would have been very pleased that they’ve gone to a good cause and someone is getting some benefit and enjoyment from them,” Mr Chapman told the PA news agency.

“He was quite a larger-than-life character, he was quite flamboyant.

“As a fashion designer, he used to wear brightly coloured clothes and he used to be into a lot of bling and crystal.

“He was a very creative person.”

Mr Chapman said he “got to know (Mr Sin) well” after they were involved in various businesses in the fashion industry, which took them around the world.

A photo zoomed in on a tag on the wedding dresses reading 'Steven Sin'Fashion designer Steven Sin spent a year designing 100 one-of-a-kind wedding dresses (Danny Fitzpatrick/PA)

“I was purely an investor to start with and the money went into getting the first shop going in the West End and that was a great success story,” he said.

“As the business started to develop after a couple of years, I got more involved and started to work full-time with him.

“We grew that business in fashion accessories and opened a shop on the King’s Road in Chelsea.

“We used to go to trade exhibitions around the world and we had showrooms in Los Angeles, Paris and Dublin.”

Mr Chapman said they had to close the stores in 2009 due to the financial crisis, but they started manufacturing hair accessories for other retailers which set the company up again.

As they were already involved in the bridal industry supplying accessories to bridal shops, Mr Sin was inspired to launch his own fashion collection, including a range of wedding dresses

A photo of the wedding dressesAdrian Chapman said he hopes the wedding dresses bring ‘enjoyment’ (Danny Fitzpatrick/PA)

“It was a natural progression for him to launch a range of wedding dresses,” he said.

“We did launch them but we had so many other things going on that we decided to back off for the time being.

“Sadly a couple of years ago, Steven died and we never got the chance to get back into it.”

Following Mr Chapman’s donation, the dresses, valued at between £700 and £1,500 each, were sold at a BHF wedding fair in Sidcup on March 14, with all the proceeds going towards funding the charity’s life-saving research.

A photo of Sally Todd, the BHF shop manager, holding up one of the wedding dressesSally Todd, the British Heart Foundation shop manager, said a handful of brides found ‘the dresses of their dreams’ at the wedding fair (Danny Fitzpatrick/PA)

Sally Todd, a BHF shop manager, said she was “completely shocked” when she saw Mr Chapman’s donation.

“They are absolutely stunning and we’re so grateful for Adrian’s very kind donation. They are completely one of a kind,” she said.

“It was amazing to welcome so many people into our shop for the bridal fair.

“A handful of lucky brides found the dresses of their dreams but we still have lots of gorgeous dresses left.

“These are available at our Sidcup shop and all the money will go towards funding life-saving research.”

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