Orla Kiely Establishes Scholarship for MA Textiles Students
Internationally renowned fashion designer Orla Kiely has established a full-fee scholarship to support future MA Textiles students at the Royal College of Art.
The first Orla Kiely Scholarship will be offered to one UK or EU student from the 2015 MA Textiles cohort, with a new student selected every two years. Alongside covering tuition fees for the two-year programme, the Orla Kiely Scholarship will also provide the opportunity to gain invaluable hands-on experience working with Kiely and her team during a summer placement at her London design studio.
Best known for her unique retro prints, Kiely graduated from MA Knitted Textiles at the RCA in 1992, and began her career designing hats before moving on to handbags. The Orla Kiely label, soon to celebrate its twentieth anniversary, has now expanded to include a ready-to-wear line, a homeware collection and lifestyle products.
Kiely’s formative time at the RCA motivated her to offer support to future students. Discussing the scholarship she said: ‘it is an honour and a privilege to be able to help the next generation of designers and give that deserving individual a chance to build upon their talents at the RCA, an environment of which I have such fond memories.'
The RCA's Textiles programme offers world-class practice and research, exploring constantly-evolving materials and technology. Traditional and innovative skills are applied by students, to create work that spans disciplines and applications, including fashion, interiors, automotive, product design and gallery installation.
Students from across the specialisms of Print, Knit, Mixed Media and Weave will be considered for the Orla Kiely Scholarship. The selection process will be based on academic merit, established through interviews and portfolio submissions, with the final decision made on the financial situation of shortlisted students.
Discussing the new scholarship Professor Clare Johnston, Head of Textiles said: 'We’re delighted that Orla is so motivated to "give back" to the College; through this generous gift, Orla is making it possible for a talented textile designer to follow in her shoes.'