Tributes paid to fashion tutor Louise Wilson

Irish designers Joanne Hynes and Simone Rocha were among her students

Tributes have been paid to Prof Louise Wilson, course director of the MA in fashion at Central St Martins in London, who died suddenly on Friday while visiting her sister in Scotland. She was 52.

A legendary figure in fashion circles, Wilson was known for her forthright opinions and for tutoring some outstanding stars, among them Alexander McQueen, Phoebe Philo and Giles Deacon, and Irish designers Joanne Hynes and Simone Rocha.

Wilson was awarded an OBE in 2009 for her services to fashion and education and won the Isabella Blow award for fashion creativity in 2012.

Brought up on a farm in Scotland, she trained in St Martins and in 1986 designed for labels in Hong Kong and was also design director of Donna Karan in New York.


“She was a terrifying figure,” said Joanne Hynes, “but she really cared about the industry and if she believed in you that was everything. She understood creative thinkers but never made it easy. She always wanted to get the best out of you.”

Wilson was a guest of Sabina Higgins during the State visit to London.

“She was an inspirational educator,” said Simone Rocha. “I will forever miss her guidance and friendship.”

Deirdre McQuillan

Deirdre McQuillan

Deirdre McQuillan is Irish Times Fashion Editor, a freelance feature writer and an author