Louise Wilson

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Louise Wilson OBE
Louise Janet Wilson[1]

(1962-02-23)23 February 1962[2]
Cambridge, England
Died16 May 2014(2014-05-16) (aged 52)
Academic work
InstitutionsCentral Saint Martins College of Arts and Design

Louise Janet Wilson OBE (23 February 1962 – 16 May 2014) was a British professor of fashion design. Wilson was based at the Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London, where she was the course director of their MA in Fashion from 1992 until 2014. Her former students include Alexander McQueen, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane, Marios Schwab, Peter Jensen, Richard Nicoll, Christopher Shannon and Sophia Kokosalaki.[3][4][5]

Life and career[edit]

Wilson was born in Cambridge, England, moving to the Scottish Borders later in her childhood.[6] After initially studying textiles at Galashiels Technical College, she went on to take a degree in fashion at Preston Polytechnic (later the University of Central Lancashire),[7] graduating in 1984 with first class honours. In 1986 she gained an MA in Fashion with distinction from Saint Martin's School of Art (later Central St Martins).[8]

She worked for various designers including Les Copains, Gianfranco Ferré and Daniel Hechter and as a designer for Guess jeans before becoming an associate lecturer at St Martins in the early 1990s.[6] In 1992 she succeeded Bobby Hillson as the course director of the MA degree programme in Fashion Design.[6][9][10] She moved to New York City in 1997 to become creative director for Donna Karan. After two years she returned to Central St Martins and was made a full professor in 1999, although she simultaneously continued to work for Donna Karan until 2002.[6]

Awards and honours[edit]

Wilson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours for services to education and the fashion industry.[1] In 2012 she received the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the British Fashion Awards;[11] on announcing the award the British Fashion Council described her as "one of the foremost educators of her generation".[12][13]

Personal life[edit]

Wilson had a long-term partner and a son who was in his twenties at the time of her death.[14] She was treated for breast cancer, but continued to work during her treatment.[13]

Death and legacy[edit]

Wilson died in her sleep while visiting her sister in Scotland on 16 May 2014, aged 52.[7][15][16]


  1. ^ a b "No. 58729". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2008. p. 13.
  2. ^ "Prof Louise Wilson, OBE". Debrett's People of Today. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  3. ^ Sanders, Charlotte (26 October 2008). "Louise Wilson: style dictator". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  4. ^ Davis, Johnny (7 February 2010). "The fashion stars of Central Saint Martins". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Arts Insider interview Professor Louise Wilson OBE". University of the Arts London. 18 February 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d Frankel, Susannah (24 September 2011). "Louise Wilson: 'As much as I might decry the students, as much as they're a nightmare, it is a privilege to be among youth'". The Independent. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  7. ^ a b O'Neill, Alistair (20 May 2014). "Louise Wilson obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Wilson, Prof. Louise". Who's Who. A & C Black. 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  9. ^ Sherwood, James (19 February 2007). "I taught them a lesson; As fashion's most formidable mistress, she mentored McQueen, oversaw Ozbek and goaded the great Galliano". The Independent. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  10. ^ Wyllie, Alice (9 August 2010). "Interview: Professor Louise Wilson, style queen". The Scotsman. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  11. ^ Cope, Rebecca (27 November 2012). "Stella McCartney crowned British designer of the year". Harper's Bazaar. UK. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  12. ^ "British Fashion Awards 2012" (Press release). British Fashion Council. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  13. ^ a b Agence France-Presse (18 May 2014). "Legendary British fashion tutor Louise Wilson dies". GlobalPost. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  14. ^ Mower, Sarah (18 May 2014). "Remembering Louise Wilson, Central Saint Martins' Legendary Professor". Vogue. UK: Condé Nast. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  15. ^ Jones, Dolly (17 May 2014). "Louise Wilson Dies". Vogue. UK: Condé Nast. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  16. ^ Press Association (17 May 2014). "Louise Wilson, 'inspirational' figure in the world of fashion, dies at 52". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 May 2014.

External links[edit]