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Honorary awards for leading figures in the creative industries at UAL Conferments 2014

Written by Anna Castleton
Published date 11 July 2014


Thirteen leading figures in the creative and cultural sectors will be recognised for their outstanding contributions to the creative industries at UAL’s graduation ceremonies, including CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault, writer and editor of Harper’s Bazaar Justine Picardie, artist Mariko Mori, writer Alice Rawsthorn, and photographer Nick Knight OBE.

The honourees will be recognised for their contributions to their fields in eight graduation ceremonies over four days at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank. Each will address graduating UAL students and share their experiences and advice for a successful career in the creative industries.The ceremonies will be streamed live on UAL’s website and live-tweeted under the hashtag #UALgrads.

The full list of honourees for 2014 is:

• Bernard Arnault KBE, CEO of LVMH
• Frank Bowling OBE RA, artist
• Rob Dickins CBE, music industry mogul
• Felicity Green, writer and fashion commentator
• Emma Hill CBE, fashion designer
• Tom Hulme, founder and managing director of OpenIDEO & OIEngine
• Nick Knight OBE, photographer
• Harold Koda, Curator-in-Charge of Costume Institute at Metropolitan Museum of Art
• Mariko Mori, video and photographic artist
• Justine Picardie, writer and editor of Harper’s Bazaar
• Alice Rawsthorn, design writer and columnist
• Sir John Tusa, ambassador for the arts and former Chair of UAL’s Court of Governors
• Anthony Ward, theatre designer

LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault KBE said: “I am very grateful to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate by University of the Arts London.  LVMH has enjoyed a fantastic working relationship with the university and  Central Saint Martins over the years.  The students never fail to produce exciting, ground-breaking designs and we are delighted that so many have brought their talent and passion to LVMH.”

Speaking before the ceremony, Costume Institute curator Harold Koda commented: “Back in the 1970s, the US had no dedicated program for costume studies at the graduate level. Even in the undergraduate programs, an understanding of the history of dress was associated with Fashion Merchandising and Theater Studies. The UK with its renowned period costume collections, and its serious consideration of costume as worthy of scholarly inquiry and analysis, was our model. To be honored in this way feels a bit like an acknowledgement from the Mother Ship! Especially with its complex of programs and facilities directed toward the study of fashion, historic dress, and museum practice pursued with rigor by the UAL, this award is especially meaningful to me.

This honorary doctorate might seem like the unearned reward for a life marked by noticeable academic immaturity and procrastination, but in my defense, when I entered the field there were none of the programs in fashion studies, costume history and museology with the rigor and depth pursued by the various institutions that comprise the UAL. The whole field has expanded and changed, and everyone interested in costume and fashion as a subject worthy of scholarly pursuit has benefitted, and today, especially me!

Author and New York Times writer Alice Rawsthorn said:  “I am thrilled to be awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of the Arts. I consider myself incredibly lucky to work in two fields – design and journalism – that have been immensely pleasurable and constantly challenging, not least because they have changed dramatically during my career. As both fields are poised for further change, I am sure they will prove equally enjoyable and stimulating for the UAL’s design and journalism graduates.”

Artist Mariko Mori states: “Chelsea College of Art encouraged me to reflect myself into the work and push me to utilize an alternative media which were facilitated at the college.” She adds: “I have also appreciated how much tutors respected the students and treated us like a young artist during the tutorials.”

Designer Emma Hill will address the graduating class with a speech on taking brave creative risks, the brilliant nature of British creativity and the wonder of finding community in art schools.

Read more about the honorary awards

Watch the live stream of the ceremonies