Amanda Wakeley, 60, has opened up about her consistent heartbreak and losses over the last few years, from the collapse of her luxury fashion label to the tragic death of her brother Charlie.
Over the past two years, Wakeley has experienced plenty of heartache in her life, and has had to muscle-up after the harsh blows.
First of all, the luxury fashion label that she has spent most of her working life building, collapsed into administration.
She initially launched her signature line in 1990, after a short stint as a fashion model in New York in the 1980s.
Then with a £20,000 loan from her father, Sir John Wakeley (2nd baronets), she opened a small studio boutique in Chelsea, London.
Just over a week after the liquidation of Wakeley’s fashion brand, her brother Charlie passed away at the age of 62. Amanda had two brothers, Charlie being the younger of the two, he had been battling a brain tumour for the previous 15 months, and left behind a loving wife and two grown-up sons.
She went on to explain that his death came almost a year to the day after the two men who violently attacked her, were jailed for a combined total of ten years.
In 2019, Wakeley was targeted and threatened by the two men who were carrying an axe, and she endured a tussle with the pair as they attempted to steal her gold Rolex, worth £25,000.
Amanda told The Mail: “It was one of the most frightening experiences in my life, but I’d tried really hard to move forward.”
“It was terrifying thinking I might not survive,” said the designer.
“Then, everything came at once,” speaking about these “big blows” for the first time.
She continued to discuss the heartbreaking experience of losing her brother, she said: “I don’t think you realise how huge it is unless you’ve been there.”
Wakeley then went on to mention silver linings, as she shared that the siblings had some ‘incredibly happy days’ together, and have never been closer as a family.
She used the word “gratitude” to describe her life, as she wakes up everyday and thinks to herself, “I get to be here today. I’m going to make the most of it.”
Her brand had become a favourite amongst some of the most beautiful women in the world, with the likes of Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Diana and Angelina Jolie wearing her designs.
She goes on to explain how she believes clothes can be armour: “It doesn’t have to be chainmail, my armour can be a big cashmere sweater.”
Amanda also lost her dog six months before Charlie’s death, and it was just the night before that she had collected her new 18-month-old Labrador, Luna.
She said: “Exercising Luna allowed me time to reflect, start processing the grief and then get on with my day. These were big, big issues, but I’ve never felt like a victim.”
Four years ago, Amanda coined the phrase, “discovering your “Style DNA,” and around that time she began to write the outline for a possible book idea.
This idea soon developed further, as she thought, “actually this could be a fantastic podcast,” and then with the pandemic she was presented with the opportunity to do so.
Wakeley has now begun her weekly 12-part podcast series, called ‘Amanda Wakeley: Style DNA,’ where she interviews celebrities about how fashion has shaped their lives.
For episode one, which was released on Saturday 30 September, Amanda talks to Trinny Woodall about her body dysmorphia and the acne that she felt tortured by throughout her teens.
Amanda Wakeley: Style DNA is available on all major podcast platforms