‘Stylish, funny, always laughing’: Tributes to Jo Ferguson
Friends and colleagues have remembered Sydney fashion stylist Jo Ferguson as generous, funny and as someone who loved to dance and make people laugh.
Ferguson died from liver and kidney failure on Wednesday at the age of 46, after a long battle with ill health.
"Strong and beautiful till the end," model and fashion designer Jodhi Meares wrote in a moving Instagram post. "Thank you for the love and the endless laughs Jo. Gentle journey home."
Renowned fashion photographer Carlotta Moye reflected on the many trips she has shared with Ferguson.
"For 25yrs we travelled the world making beautiful pictures … in between, we laughed, we danced, we laughed some more," Moye told The Daily Telegraph.
"It was always Jo's 'birthday' on our trips - that way we would get a round of free drinks. We laughed, that was what Jo always made sure we did a lot of.
"But most importantly through it all I was gifted a beautiful friendship with the most generous, hilarious stylish girl Jo.
"My heart is heavy. I miss you Pats. This is hard. My head is flooding with memories of Jo. But you know the biggest memory is laughing. She always said, 'ohh ya gotta laugh'."
Ferguson was a longstanding fashion editor at Cleo magazine. She was once best friends with former supermodel Kristy Hinze and was her bridesmaid when she married US billionaire Jim Clark.
It was well documented that over recent years Ferguson's life had spiralled as her health declined.
She was well known on Sydney's red carpet scene, having dated TV host Tom Williams for a number of years and been romantically linked to millionaire car dealer Neville Crichton.
In recent years she had pulled back from her active social life and moved home to Adelaide to be close to family.
She is survived by mother Patricia and brother Scott.
"Sadly my inspirational sister Jo passed away defiantly last night, just after midnight," Scott Ferguson said.
"I'd hate for her life to simply slip past now as there were deeper issues that should be addressed, if only to help people in similar situations and prevent others from premature death."
Former Cleo editor-in-chief Deborah Thomas met Ferguson in 1997.
"Jo was always so full of life and fun," Thomas said.
"Her enthusiasm, work ethic, friendship and loyalty was second to none. After we both left the magazine Jo and I would often catch up for lunch at Bambini Trust to check in on each other, share stories and exchange advice about relationships, career and fashion.
"It was always a pleasure to spend time with Jo as she bubbled over with enthusiasm about life even though more recently she faced many challenges. I am devastated by the loss of a beautiful soul who has tragically left us way too soon.
"A bright light has gone out and Jo will be missed by her many friends and colleagues, who loved her dearly. RIP darling girl."
Publicist and talent manager Annie Kelly said: "Jo held such a special place in the hearts of those who knew her, she had a beautiful generous spirit, and could light up a room with her energy and smile."
"Despite her health battles, she never lost her wild sense of humour and still had me in tears of laugher when we spoke. I have so many wonderful memories that I will cherish.
"My heart is broken for our loss, but I know that now she is finally at peace. Be free beautiful JoJo - you are loved."
Fashion designer Michael Azzollini was among her lifelong friends to take to social media to say goodbye.
"You are with the angels now - dance little lady dance -- You made it baby, you really did - I will always love you. Keep dancing - I've got your back," he wrote.
Ferguson had been battling health issues for some time.
A January report claimed she dodged death after blood poisoning relating to a 2017 staircase fall in which she lost four litres of blood.
She is understood to have been placed on life support last month and was subsequently allowed to go home before being re-admitted.
Publicist Tracey Baker remembered Ferguson for the fun times they had together, including a trip to the Hunter Valley to see Rod Stewart perform.
"This is how I choose to remember you. Fabulous outfits, laughing, dancing always."
Creative director Alex Zabotto-Bentley also shared a moving tribute to his friend and former colleague.
"You were style personified and showed everyone how completely fabulous you were always but your sweet, gentle, vulnerable side was always what attracted me," he wrote in a tribute. "You have always been a sweetheart. I wish you only the best on your journey into the universe."
Originally published as 'Stylish, funny and always laughing': Tributes to Jo Ferguson