Family pay tribute to fashion blogger whose quirky style won him legions of fans
PUBLISHED: 18:08 01 March 2012
The family of a popular fashion blogger whose quirky writing won him legions of online fans have paid an emotional tribute to the “incredibly talented” young man.
Frances Andrews’ appeal for people battling depression to seek help
“So many people have contacted us since James died and said ‘my brother, my father, my sister, killed themselves many years ago’, it is really shocking.
“Nobody knew how James felt because he didn’t talk about it. I really didn’t have a clue that anything was wrong.
“I don’t think he realised that the way he felt was how many, many people feel. That was the real shame of it. For someone so bright and intelligent, I wish he had just checked.
“If we can have one person read about this who then tells a friend they are feeling down about something, then at least something good can come of it.”
James Andrews, 24, took his own life on Valentine’s Day, never having spoken of or sought any help for depression.
His sister Frances, 26, told the Ham&High: “He was incredibly creative and talented, and could mix with anyone.
“There were no signs that he was struggling, it really came as a massive shock to us. For me, it really highlights how people can hide depression so well.”
Mr Andrews was well known for the fashion articles and photographs he shared on his Twitter page and blog.
His family have been inundated with hundreds of messages of condolence from as far afield as Norway since his death.
While most of his legion of followers never met him, the 24-year-old left a personal mark on many of them.
In one case, reported last December in the Ham&High, the blogger, from Stroud Green, gave a copy of his favourite book, The Great Gatsby, to a homeless man by Belsize Park tube station.
Two weeks later he spotted the same man outside HSBC bank in Hampstead High Street reading the American classic.
In an online tribute, a Twitter friend of the writer wrote: “Last year I Tweeted to him that romance was dead and that no one ever sends romantic hand written letters in the post anymore.
“Four days later, what lands on my front porch, a hand written, stunning letter from him.
“He was pretending he was writing to a love interest. As soon as I opened it I smiled and ‘swooned’ at what he had written.”
His sister said that these touching acts of kindness shows the “tremendous impact” social media can have on people’s lives.
Yet, while Mr Andrews was so good at reaching out to others, he struggled to ask for the help he needed.
Shortly before he died, he left a message on Twitter quoting Winnie the Pooh which read: “…there is something you must always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
“But the most important thing is, even if we are apart…I’ll always be with you.”
Friends of Mr Andrews have so far raised more than £1,000 for the mental health charity Depression Alliance.
Anyone who wants to donate should visit www.depressionalliance.org