Cover Vivienne Tam and some of the stoles from her new line, Lovfinity S

Designer Vivienne Tam lost her partner, Scott Crolla to cancer in 2019. She turned her heartbreak into a source of inspiration for a new line that not only honours Crolla's career but also helps those battling the illness

Grief affects everyone differently: for some, it can be paralysing; for others, it can be catalysing. After Vivienne Tam lost her partner of 20 years, the British womenswear designer Scott Crolla, to cancer in 2019, she channelled her heartbreak into a new line of stoles named Lovfinity S that honours Crolla’s career in fashion while helping those who are battling the same illness.

The initiative, named after the words love, infinity and Crolla’s initial, is dear to her heart. “Though I am sad, I am passing on my never-ending love for him by designing a special stole in his honour,” she says. Proceeds from the woollen shawls, which come in three colours, will be donated to the Hong Kong Cancer Fund, Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre HK and the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation (HKBCF), which appointed Tam as its ambassador in January. 

“I am not a breast cancer patient, but as a caretaker, I understand the feeling of being engulfed by helplessness. I made these stoles larger in size, so that when people wear them, it feels like a warm hug,” she said during her January visit to the HKBCF Breast Health Centre in Kowloon.

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After studying fashion in Hong Kong, Tam moved to New York, where she found success in the Nineties for her East-meets-West approach to design. Tam has dressed countless stars, including Lady Gaga and the first lady of the United States Jill Biden, and her designs are part of the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Over the past year, the designer has weathered the pandemic in Hong Kong, where women including Jessica Jann and Karen Mok have rallied in support of the initiative. Using the slogan “Love yourself, heal yourself, never give up”, Tam hopes her shawls will serve as a beacon of light to those suffering.

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