British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes has become a Dame as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The honour of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire was given in recognition of her work across the fashion and textiles industries.
Rhodes, known for her shock of pink hair, was one of the British designers who brought London to the forefront of the international fashion scene in the mid-1960s.
With her distinctive style – featuring bold prints, fiercely feminine patterns and theatrical use of colour – she has inspired many across the fashion industry. Her garments have been worn by the likes of Diana, Princess of Wales, Elizabeth Taylor and Freddie Mercury.
She founded the Fashion and Textile Museum, which opened in London in May 2003 and is dedicated to showcasing the work of fashion and textile designers from the 1950s onwards.
Rhodes has also dedicated much of her time to supporting breast cancer and stroke charities. Last year, she became London mayor Boris Johnson’s breast cancer ambassador for London.
She was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1997 in recognition of her contribution to fashion and textiles and has nine honorary doctorates from universities in the UK and the US. In 2010, she became chancellor of the University of the Creative Arts in Surrey.
Rhodes’ first shop, The Fulham Clothes Shop in London, opened in 1967. She was named designer of the year in 1972 and royal designer for industry in 1974.
Speaking to Drapers from the US, Rhodes said: “It’s a great honour. I am British and I believe in our country. It’s a wonderful title to have.”
Her spokeswoman added: “Zandra is thrilled and honoured that her work is valued by her country. She is proud of her British company and her staff, and continues to design fabulous clothes and textiles that represent the UK throughout the world. She is additionally pleased that her contributions outside of her work to breast cancer and stroke awareness are of value.”
Other retail heavyweights honoured on the list include milliner John Boyd, who was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the fashion industry. Boyd, who designed hats for Diana, Princess of Wales, owns the shop John Boyd Hats at 16 Beauchamp Place in London.
Michael Gutman, managing director for Europe for Westfield, was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to UK business and retail regeneration.
Former Drapers Record news reporter Alice Rawsthorn, now a design critic for the International New York Times, was also made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
Drapers Record was Rawsthorn’s first job in journalism in the early 1980s, when the magazine was based in Soho Square.