Popular Maltese fashion designer Drew Warhurst died on Sunday, days after his mother passed away. 

An icon in the Maltese fashion industry, Warhurst, 49, designed various looks for artists and public figures. 

He is best known for his designs for Maltese Eurovision contestants, including Emma Muscat, Ira Losco and Destiny Chukunyere.

His sister, Sharon Micallef Warhurst posted the news of her brother's death on social media on Monday morning.

She said that Drew passed away days after their mother.

“I have no strength to even write this announcement of a huge loss like this," she wrote. 

"It all happened so quickly and I haven’t come to terms with all this sadness and heartbreaking episodes. I cannot believe I will never hear your voice and see you again Andrew, always making others happy, full of life, so talented and so heart giving.”

Tributes poured in for Warhurst by artists and designers who worked closely with him.

Singer Emma Muscat posted a video sharing moments of the two together. Warhurst had designed Muscat's dress for the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, in Turin Italy.

"You always lit up the room with your bubbly character and laugh and always managed to calm my nerves before a big event," she said.

"Having you near me making sure everything was to perfection. Wearing your beautiful creations and designs, leaving your mark on the world has been my absolute honour. I am going to miss you so much Drew. Nothing will ever be the same without you."

Lydia Abela, the prime minister's wife, also took a moment to pay tribute to Warhurst.

"Your talent knows no bounds and your passion for design was not just a profession, it was a true art form that spoke volumes through every stitch and seam," Abela wrote on Instagram. 

Abela wore a Warhurst dress for the Independence Day ceremony at St John's co-Cathdral, Valletta in 2021.

Speaking to Times of Malta, Culture Minister Owen Bonnici said the fashion industry had lost a gem.

"His death is a loss for the culture community, and many artists will feel this," he said.

Head of Malta Fashion Week, Adrian J Mizzi said the industry had lost a creative, honest and kind individual. 

"Wherever you saw Drew, there would be people laughing," he wrote.

"He was serious about his work, but everyone who worked with him would have fun, and laugh, and he would give you a look to say it wasn't his fault. This time the tears will not be the same."

Warhurst’s funeral will be held on January 27 at 9am at St Paul’s Basilica, Rabat.

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