Designer of Gord Downie's suits raises money with keychains built from leftovers

FILE PHOTO - Frontman of the Tragically Hip, Gord Downie, leads the band through a concert in Vancouver, Sunday, July, 24, 2016.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

TORONTO - Keychains made from scraps of leather used to tailor Gord Downie's eye-catching metallic suits are going up for sale — for a good cause.

Fashion designer Izzy Camilleri, who created Downie's look on the Tragically Hip's "Man Machine Poem" tour, says she's using leftover pieces to raise money for brain cancer research.

She came up with the idea after the band wrapped the tour in August.

The leather remaining from Downie's seven suit designs has been repurposed into 1,000 keychains shaped like guitars and embossed with #courageforgord.

Each will sell for $25 on the website. Proceeds go to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research at Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital.

Camilleri says the extra leather was originally meant for minor repairs and alterations to Downie's suits during the tour. But after the final Kingston, Ont., concert she decided to hang onto the material anyway.

Each of the seven outfits was named after someone who Downie considered instrumental in helping him prepare for the tour.

The gold suit was coined "Paul" for Hip bandmate Paul Langlois, the silver suit was dubbed "Patrick" after Downie's brother and the turquoise suit "Edgar" was dedicated to his father, who died last year.

Downie's assistant "Jenn" has her name tied to the acid green suit while two musical icons also have a nod — the purple suit is called "Prince" and the mirror ball suit is "Bowie."

Camilleri's hot pink suit design was named after herself.

Two custom leather jackets will also be up for auction on the website starting Saturday. Both were created "in the spirit of what she designed for Downie." One is in metallic silver sized in a men's large while a metallic pink female version is sized medium.

Camilleri says she hopes to raise $25,000 from both the keychains and jackets.

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