Professor Wendy Dagworthy to Retire at the End of the Academic Year

Following a long and distinguished career at the RCA, Professor Wendy Dagworthy has announced she will be retiring at the end of the academic year, in July 2014. 

Professor Dagworthy joined the RCA as Course Director and Professor of Fashion in 1998 from Central St Martins, where she taught and mentored designers such as Hussein Chalayan and Stella McCartney. In 2001 she became head of the School of Fashion and Textiles. In 2011 Wendy was awarded an OBE for services to the fashion industry in the New Year's Honours List. Later that year she was appointed Dean of the College’s newly formed School of Material, bringing together Fashion and Textiles with Ceramics & Glass and Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork & Jewellery.

Professor Naren Barfield, Pro-Rector (Academic) said: 'Wendy is leaving us on the highest of high notes, with the REF put to bed, and an acclaimed exhibition at the V&A, Club to Catwalk, behind her. In particular, I would like to thank Wendy for her hard work as inaugural Dean of the new School of Material, and also for her cross-College academic contribution on so many fronts along with her sterling service on numerous committees.'

Dr Paul Thompson, Rector of the Royal College of Art said 'Wendy will be missed, not only by the legions of designers she has discovered, educated and mentored during her RCA career including Erdem and Holly Fulton, but also by her colleagues, past and present. I personally will miss her boundless energy, good humour and above all, her unbridled passion for and commitment to creative higher education.'

Professor Wendy Dagworthy OBE said: 'After 16 years at the RCA, it’s fairly obvious that this place is very much part of me, and I know I will miss it tremendously. The College is unique, and I can truly say I have loved working with so many creative people – students and colleagues alike. My time here has been incredibly rewarding, and I look forward now to the next phase of my life – possibly in a hut on a sandy beach somewhere fabulously hot!'

The search for a replacement will begin immediately.

Dean Professor Wendy Dagworthy OBE

Wendy Dagworthy formed her own company in 1972 and two years later joined the prestigious London Designer Collections, where she subsequently became Director from 1982–90. She had huge success during the 1970s and '80s selling her collections to an international market and exhibited seasonally at London, Milan, New York and Paris, which confirmed the importance of her contribution to the international fashion industry. In 1989 she became Course Director at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Wendy joined the Royal College of Art in 1998 and in 2011 was appointed Dean of its newly formed School of Material.

During the 1990s Wendy Dagworthy became a design consultant to companies such as Laura Ashley, Liberty and Betty Jackson. She has participated in various exhibitions, including the Cutting Edge exhibition in 1997 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, The London Look, 2004, Museum of London and Focus on 4 Designers, 2007, Bath Museum of Fashion. In 2013 Club to Catwalk took place at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Wendy Dagworthy's personal dedication and passion for the fashion industry is reflected in the overwhelming amount of work she undertakes for all aspects of the industry. She has been a judge of many art and design projects, awards and competitions and has given lectures all over the world. She has been a member of key international and professional committees and remains an external examiner for several major European colleges. A founder member of the London Designer Collection, which led to the setting up of London Fashion, Wendy is also on the advisory board of the British Fashion Council – a position held since 1996.

In 2011 Wendy Dagworthy was awarded an OBE for services to the fashion industry in the New Year's Honours List.