September 20, 2021

Zandra Rhodes was determined to finish work projects

Zandra Rhodes vowed to “live longer” when she was told she was terminally ill – because she needed to finish her Ikea range.

The 80-year-old fashion designer was diagnosed with cancer in March 2020 and given just six months to live and she admitted her first thought on hearing the news was for her career plans, including her collaboration with the furniture retailer which is due to launch next month.

She said: “I thought, ‘My stomach feels full and I haven’t had a meal all day.’ I went to the doctor and it was cancer of the bile duct. They said, ‘You’ve got six months.’ I thought, ‘My God, Ikea doesn’t come out for a year and a half, I’ve got to live longer!’ “

Zandra has been undergoing immunotherapy but isn’t letting it interfere with her work.

She told the Times’ Weekend magazine: “I go every three weeks, come out again and just get on with what I’m doing.”

But she has been busy getting her affairs in order.

She said: “I formed my Zandra Rhodes Foundation, made sure I got a Do Not Resuscitate in place and thought I’d better get all my work sorted. That’s taken more than six months, so I’m glad they’d given me longer. It didn’t worry me, and I don’t understand why. I was, like, ‘Got to pull myself together, get my house in order.’ “

Part of her projects have involved cataloguing the clothes she’s saved over the years, which will be donated to museums.

She noted: “About 8,000 dresses; I didn’t know I was such a hoarder.”

And the designer is thankful her trademark pink hair hasn’t fallen out, though she was ready for the possibility of that happening.

She explained: “I had pink and turquoise wigs if it had. And it’s thicker again now.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: