Louise Wilson OBE, the Central Saint Martins professor who taught some of the biggest fashion names of the last 20 years, died this weekend aged 52.
Wilson, who had been course of the Central Saint Martins’ MA in Fashion since 1992, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Friday evening while visiting her sister. She had been battling breast cancer for some years, although continued working while receiving radiotherapy.
Former students include Alexander McQueen, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane, Marios Schwab, and Richard Nicoll. She was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to education and the fashion industry and in 2012 she received the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the British Fashion Awards.
Many tributes were paid when the news of her death circulated.
Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, tweeted: “Prof Louise Wilson, I can’t believe you have gone. You were much loved and respected. A legend and an inspiration. RIP”.
Hilary Alexander OBE, fashion director of the Daily Telegraph, said: “Sad to hear of death of CSM’s Professor Louise Wilson, OBE.You will be missed you bloody genius x x”
Northumbria University professor Bruce Montgomery said: “A sad loss for fashion education and the fashion industry, her consistent high standards inspired many young designers to achieve their career path.”
Luxury boutique Matchesfashion.com added: “Very sad to hear about the passing of Louise Wilson. Our thoughts are with her friends and family.”
Mary Portas said: “Remembering her greatness and ballsiness”.
Central Saint Martins issued a statement saying it was “devasted” about the news.
“Louise has been an inspirational person both within the College and the wider world of fashion,” it added. “Louise’s legacy will live on at CSM through her former students and current teaching colleagues who were so close to her. Central Saint Martins is grateful to have been able to enjoy the fruits of Louise’s great talent for educating for the last 22 years and will support her staff and students as they go forward from here.
“Her partner Timmi and son TJ are very much in our thoughts and will remain so.”