Designer vanishes after drugs charges

IllionaireThe creator of hip unisex brand Illionaire has become the subject of an international man hunt, having purportedly fled the country following drugs charges.

Perth fashion designer Benjamin Woodcock did not turn up in court last week at a scheduled appearance relating to possession of methylamphetamines worth around $780,000. Meanwhile a police spokesperson confirmed the designer had not been seen by police since October 1, despite bail conditions that required him to report to police three times a week.

Woodcock, 30, was charged in August after he was allegedly caught with more than half a kilogram of the drug. His mother reportedly put up the $75,000 surety in August when he was granted bail after his arrest. However this month she applied to the court to withdraw the surety and Woodcock was ordered to appear to have his bail conditions changed.

The designer relinquished his Australian passport to authorities when he was released on bail but police believe he has escaped overseas. Police have notified Interpol that they are searching for him. They are also investigating the possibility a family member is helping Woodcock avoid capture and set up a life outside Australia.

Woodcock and his partners launched unisex youth brand Illionaire in 2006, promoting the label at Australian Fashion Week in 2007 as part of the New Generation designer showcase. The following year the brand presented its first individual show in Sydney.

Illionaire has distribution across Australia as well as in Europe, the US and Japan.

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