Wendy Dagworthy is a fashion designer, having had a successful self-titled fashion line in the 1970s and 1980s, and fashion academic, having led fashion courses at both the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins.
Dagworthy studied fashion at Hornsey College of Art and formed her own company in 1972. Two years later, she joined the prestigious London Designer Collections, where she subsequently became Director from 1982–1990. She had huge success during the 1970s and 80s selling her collections to an international market, and exhibited seasonally in London, Milan, New York and Paris, which confirmed the importance of her contribution to the international fashion industry.
In 1989 she became Course Director at Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design where she taught Stella McCartney, Hussein Chalayan and Alexander McQueen, amongst many others.
During the 1990s she became a design consultant to companies such as Laura Ashley, Liberty and Betty Jackson; a consultancy role which she still maintains. She has participated in various exhibitions, including the Cutting Edge exhibition in 1997 at the Victoria and Albert Museum; The London Look, Museum of London (2004); Super Contemporary in 2009 at the Design Museum; and, in 2013, she co-curated the V&A’s From Club to Catwalk exhibition.
Dagworthy joined the Royal College of Art in 1998 as Professor and Head of Fashion, becoming Head of the School of Fashion & Textiles in 2000 and then Dean of the School of Material. She retired in 2014.
Her personal dedication and passion for the fashion industry is reflected in the overwhelming amount of work she undertakes for all aspects of the industry. She has been a judge of many art and design projects, awards and competitions and has given lectures all over the world. She has been a member of key international and professional committees and remains an External Examiner for several major European colleges. Her ongoing commitment and influence continues with her membership of the British Fashion Council’s management council – a position held since 1996.