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7 months ago, by Voir Editorial Team The Royal College Of Art Awards It’s Honorary Doctorates For The Year

7 months ago, by Voir Editorial Team

The Royal College Of Art Awards It’s Honorary Doctorates For The Year

Thursday, September 14th, 2023, this day is set to become a career milestone for ten remarkable creatives as they’re awarded the highest recognition the world’s leading art university can grant: an honorary doctorate or fellowship. Amongst them will be legendary British & European Director of Vogue Edward Enninful OBE, as well as one of the most recognizable and awarded choreographers of today, Wayne McGregor CBE. They will receive their awards from the prestigious Chancellor of the Royal College of Art alongside over 2,000 graduating students, in a ceremony at the renowned Royal Festival Hall. After their many contributions to the fashion and art world, the only surprise is that they didn’t obtain the honour sooner.

Courtesy of ShowStudio and Serena Brown

In the fashion corner, Edward Enninful has been praised by both the public and the industry alike for his groundbreaking work and championship of diversity and inclusivity. He has broken the Internet, the industry, and several records during his stint in the fashion world. First, by being named the youngest fashion director of I-D magazine at just 19, and then by becoming the first man, and black editor to hold the position at British Vogue in 2017. Here, he created the diverse and trailblazing covers the publication is now famed for. Some notable cover stars have been young activist Greta Thunberg, 85-year-old Judi Dench, global popstar Rihanna, and footballer Marcus Rashford. He was even behind Vogue’s first-ever braille edition this past May.

Courtesy of DSTNGR

It’s safe to say, the Ghana-born artist has come a long way since he first got scouted as a model in London. It was that moment that led to his 20-year tenure at the edgy I-D magazine, followed by a seven-year post as Creative and Fashion Director of the iconic American magazine W. During this time he heavily contributed to American and Italian Vogue, a forecast to his future relationship with the magazine to which he has been European Editorial Director of since 2020.

Being bestowed an honorary doctorate isn’t the only tribute he has welcomed; in 2014 he was named Fashion Creator of the Year by the British Fashion Council, which recognized him again in 2021 as a Leader of Change. He was honored with an OBE in 2016 for Services to Diversity in the fashion industry and also won the Global Media Trailblazer accolade at the British LGBT Awards in 2022. As if this wasn’t impressive enough, his 2022 memoir, A Visible Man, is a Sunday Times Bestseller.

Courtesy of Amazon

About the honorary doctorate, Enninful said: “I am honored to receive this doctorate from the Royal College of Art, an institution which has given so much to the creative community. Education is a privilege to be part of; it offers a robust and rewarding foundation for life and I am forever blown away by the talents of the people who pass through the doors here. To be welcomed into the RCA’s history forevermore is a very special moment.”

Equally as impressive in the dance corner, multi-award-winning choreographer and director Wayne McGregor will receive the doctorate alongside Enninful. The British artiste got his start in the early 90s with his Company Wayne McGregor, and has since gained international fame for his experimental performances that have redesigned how we think of dance today. How? By expanding the meaning of the word dance, including within it technology, visual art, film, and opera. This has positioned him at the helm of the avant-garde contemporary art scene for almost 30 years. If ABBA Voyage sounds familiar to you, it’s his innovative hand that’s behind it.

Courtesy of ABBA Voyage

In between touring the world with his company and working with the likes of Margaret Atwood, McGregor is also somehow carving the time to be Resident Choreographer of the Royal Ballet since 2006. On top of that, he’s the Director of Dance for the Venice Biennale. His legendary work here has made him a highly in-demand choreographer for the entertainment industry, with previous commissions including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and music videos for Radiohead. Oh, and he’s a Professor of choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. We’re overwhelmed just thinking about it all. It’s no wonder he was first in the dance category of London’s Most Influential People in 2018, or that he received a CBE for his services to Dance in 2011. You must have a deep passion for something to dedicate yourself to it so fervently. When asked about the origin of his love for dance in an interview this year, McGregor’s response was oddly relatable: “It’s probably one that’s quite well-known but it is a true one … it was seeing Saturday Night Fever for the first time.”

Courtesy of Wayne McGregor Studio

About his doctorate award, he stated: “The RCA – a world-leading, industry-defining institution (in the best city in the world) has nurtured an inspirational alumni, changing our creative, ethical, and political landscape daily. I feel extremely fortunate to be honored today in their company. Many of my incredible collaborators have been RCA schooled: provocative, individual, and divergent thinkers, always taking the unconventional path to rich new seams of the possible.”

After over two decades of standing out in two of the most competitive creative industries in the world(fashion and dance), it’s safe to say that these talented individuals have more than earned their honorary doctorate degrees– no college attendance required.

Words by Alexia De Las Heras

Header Image by Royal College of Art


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