Saturday, March 04, 2006
Anthrax threat to Perth designer - World - smh.com.au
World - smh.com.au: "
By Mark Coultan Herald Correspondent in New York
March 4, 2006
MOVING countries and starting a business involves taking a lot of risks. But when Lincoln Mayne left his native Perth for London, then New York, he could hardly have imagined that the greatest threat to his successful design business would be anthrax.
The 34-year-old has built up a business as an artist and fashion designer in five years in New York. He arrived with a backpack, hitched a ride into Manhattan and started sewing and printing.
From humble beginnings on the Lower East Side, he now supplies clothes to stores in Japan and Hong Kong. He has had five animations on cable television in the US, and has exhibited his work in New York.
But it all was brought to a halt by the deadly spores, apparently brought into the country in animal hides imported by a drum-maker three levels above him in a Brooklyn warehouse. When Vado Diomande, 44, came down with the symptoms of anthrax, he caused a panic in terrorist-wary New York.
His infection, the first case of naturally occurring anthrax in the US in 30 years, was caused by untreated goat skins he imported from the Ivory Coast then stretched to make drums. The well-known African dance troupe leader collapsed with breathing problems after a performance in Pennsylvania last week.
When the nature of his infection became clear, hazardous materials teams swooped on his Greenwich Village apartment and his Brooklyn warehouse.
Although Mr Diomande's studio was on the sixth floor, authorities have barred Mr Mayne - or anybody else - from entering his third floor space and there is no indication when he will be allowed back into the building.
Mr Mayne said the lock-out was threatening a $US20,000 ($26,800) order, plus a similar order due next week. He has had to lay off three of his staff, while one other is working for free.
Without access to his computers, samples, stock, artworks and his client list, his business has stopped.
'I have $US20,000 worth of garments to be sent out last Friday, and they are just sitting on my floor,' he said.
He has spent the past week trying to get answers from US authorities.'Being anthrax, it's such a hot topic no one wants to sign it off. Don't get me wrong, I want the building clean. I just want them to get up and do it.'"
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