Dezeen Magazine

Joe Casely-Hayford

Fashion designer Joe Casely-Hayford dies at 62

British-Ghanaian fashion designer Joe Casely-Hayford has passed away aged 62, after losing a three-year fight with cancer.

The influential designer, who has dressed famous musicians including Bono, Suede and Lou Reed, most recently ran the Casely-Hayford label that he set up with his son Charlie in 2009.

Dylan Jones, editor of British GQ, has described him as "a lovely man as well as a consistently inventive designer".

"He was one of the mainstays of the industry in the 1980s, and was an inspiration to a whole generation of young designers," he said. His name was also one of the first British designer brands to gain genuine global recognition. He will be greatly missed."

Casely-Hayford was "the first of his kind"

Edward Enninful, editor of British Vogue, also paid tribute to Casely-Hayford on the magazine's website and social media channels.

"We come from the same time. Joe was a talented pioneer, filled with integrity, and the first of his kind: a black designer who represented London on the world stage," said Enninful.

Joe Casely-Hayford
Joe Casely-Hayford founded the Casely-Hayford label in 2009 with his son Charlie

Casely-Hayford completed an apprenticeship on Savile Row – the London street famous for traditional men's tailoring – before going on to train at the Tailor and Cutting Academy. He then studied fashion design at Central Saint Martin's and history of art at the ICA.

He established a label in London's east end in 1984 with his wife Maria, famously using second world war tents in his inaugural collection.

Designs paired tailoring with streetwear

His designs always took inspiration from bespoke tailoring but were spiked with the streetwear he saw around that first studio on London's Brick Lane.

The designer was awarded an OBE in 2007 during his three-year tenure as creative director of British tailors Gieves & Hawkes. He left to set up his eponymous label with Charlie, renowned for its elegant deconstructed sensibility.

Casely-Hayford is survived by his wife Maria, son Charlie and daughter Alice, the digital editor of British Vogue.