A devastating loss has been repaid with kindness many times over for an Australian stylist whose priceless lingerie collection was stolen earlier this month.
Melbourne resident Shiori Pike lost about 500 garments worth an estimated $100,000 on March 6 when burglars broke into her second-floor studio while she slept in her apartment below. The haul included vintage items, clients’ samples and about half of Shiori’s personal wardrobe collected over the past 15 years.
As news of the theft spread, however, a growing number of friends, strangers, stores and lingerie brands have come forward to help Shiori replace her fashion treasures.
That generosity will be on display this Thursday, when the fashion-forward brand KissKill hosts a fundraising event at its Chapel Street store to help Shiori rebuild her collection. The event will include a silent auction as well as a performance from Aussie burlesque star Sina King (above), and has evolved into a celebration of Australia’s lingerie community.
For Shiori, the occasion will be a chance to thank the countless supporters who have come forward since the theft, many of whom only know her from her blog My Lingerie Addiction.
“This whole event has been crazy, overwhelming, scary, beautiful,” she told Lingerie Talk. “I had no idea people could be so kind. After all the fear and anger, I come out realizing that there are more good people than bad in the world. I feel so lucky.”
Several brands and stores offered to replace stolen items, and KissKill founder Jane Carrodus volunteered to host the fundraising event within days of the theft.
But it’s been the unexpected acts of kindness from complete strangers that have left Shiori in tears many times over the past few weeks.
The groundswell of public support began a few days after the theft, when Shiori attended a market pop-up shop for boutique retailer Maison Burlesque. Several women approached her, offered condolences, and gave her gifts of lingerie and accessories from the market.
One woman who followed Shiori’s blog approached her “out of the blue” and handed her a bag containing a Her Sexellency lingerie dress from Dita Von Teese‘s label.
Another stranger contacted her by email and offered to donate a treasured set of silk georgette pyjamas (below) that cost $200 when the owner first saw them 25 years ago. She couldn’t afford them at the time, but paid for them on layaway over eight weeks, “forgoing meals to do so.”
Shiori refused the gift at first, but agreed to meet the woman, who clearly shared her passion for fashion finery.
“She insisted that if I liked them she’d be truly happy for me to have them,” she wrote on her Instagram account. “She wanted them to have the life they deserved, to be appreciated and loved as much as she had when she bought them.”
Shiori accepted the gift, saying: “I will treasure these pieces much more than the items that were stolen. The story behind them means the absolute world to me.”
Shiori’s lingerie collection, which she uses in professional photo shoots and styling assignments, was not insured and she will have to cover the cost of replacing client samples that were included in the theft.
But the experience has also had an unexpected result, as it gave Shiori’s longtime fans and followers a chance to reach out to her.
“People have come out of the woodwork to send their thanks for what I’ve shown them and offer up amazing things to help me out,” she said. “I have realized how may people have been watching what I’ve been doing without me having a clue about the impact it has made on them in regards to lingerie, dressing and body confidence.
“The words themselves are all I really need. Those words to me are priceless and worth all the pieces I lost.”