Edward Enninful OBE, Editor-in-Chief, British Vogue & European Editorial Director, Vogue, and Wayne McGregor CBE, multi-award winning choreographer, director and the Royal Ballet Resident Choreographer, today receive Honorary Doctorates from Chancellor of the Royal College of Art, Sir Jony Ive, in a ceremony at the iconic Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank.
Ten outstanding individuals were awarded Honorary Doctorates and Honorary Fellowships from the world’s leading art and design university in September 2023. These awards are the highest recognition the College can bestow upon an individual, and they celebrate exceptional accomplishments. The ten recipients will be awarded across three Convocation ceremonies, held over three days in September at the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall, alongside over 2,000 students graduating from the RCA in Design, Communication, Architecture and the Arts and Humanities.
Edward Enninful OBE said: “I am honoured 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 always is an extraordinary moment.”
Wayne McGregor CBE said: “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 honoured 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.”
Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue in August 2017, and in December 2020, was promoted to European Editorial Director of Vogue. Before this, Edward was Creative and Fashion Director of the American magazine W since 2011, where he worked with the world’s best fashion photographers to produce ground-breaking, highly admired work. His experience as a fashion editor dates back to 1991 when he was named Fashion Director of the avant-garde British title i-D at 19, a position he held for over 20 years. Between 1998 and 2011, he contributed extensively to American Vogue and Italian Vogue.
Born in Ghana 50 years ago, one of six children, Enninful, was brought to London as a child and grew up in the city’s Ladbroke Grove area. As a teenager, he became interested in fashion when he was scouted as a fashion model. He displayed a talent for fashion styling, which led the then Editor of I-D, Terry Jones, to appoint Enninful as the magazine’s fashion director, the youngest in the industry.
In 2014, he was named Fashion Creator of the Year by the British Fashion Council, and he was honoured with an OBE in 2016 for Services to Diversity in the Fashion industry. In 2021, the British Fashion Council again recognised Enninful at the Fashion Awards as one of their Leaders of Change, and he received the Editor’s Editor Award at the 2021 BSME Awards. In October 2021, Edward was named a Global Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust Group during a dinner hosted by The Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle. At the British LGBT Awards in June 2022, Enninful received the Global Media Trailblazer award, and in 2023, he was awarded the Game Changer Award at The Green Carpet Fashion Awards.
Enninful’s memoir, A Visible Man, was published in September 2022 by Bloomsbury and is a Sunday Times Bestseller.
Wayne McGregor CBE is a multi-award-winning British choreographer and director internationally renowned for trailblazing innovations in performance that have radically redefined dance in the modern era. As Artistic Director of Studio Wayne McGregor, McGregor’s work is rooted in dance yet encompasses a variety of genres, including technology, visual art, film, opera and education. His startling and multi-dimensional works have ensured his position at the cutting edge of contemporary art for almost thirty years. McGregor has made over thirty pieces for Company Wayne McGregor, and today, it continues to be his laboratory for ambitious and experimental new choreography, touring his work across the UK and worldwide. Wayne McGregor is a Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet, where his productions reconfigure the classical language, and is the Director of Dance for the Venice Biennale.
He is also regularly commissioned by and has worked in the repertories of the most important ballet companies in the world, including Paris Opera Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Bolshoi Ballet. He is in demand as a choreographer for theatre (Royal Court, National Theatre, Donmar), opera (La Scala/Royal Opera, ENO), film (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Mary Queen of Scots), music videos (Radiohead, The Chemical Brothers), fashion shows (Gareth Pugh, Nick Knight for SHOWstudio) campaigns (everyBODY for Selfridges, Boots No 7) and TV (The 2016 Brit Awards Opening Sequence, Paloma Faith’s Brit Awards performance 2015). Some of the long list of artists who have partnered with McGregor through more than twenty years of collaborative multi-disciplinary work include Margaret Atwood, Tacita Dean, Audrey Niffenegger, Thomas Adès, Jamie xx, Max Richter, Olafur Eliasson, Thom Yorke and Random International.
In May 2023, McGregor premiered UniVerse: A Dark Crystal Odyssey with Company Wayne McGregor at The Royal Opera House, a reimagining of Jim Henson’s cult 1982 film The Dark Crystal – a darkly fantastical epic with mythological underpinnings and ecological overtones – as a potent tale for today in its depiction of an earth in peril, torn apart by extremes and in desperate need of healing. In June 2023, McGregor presented Untitled 2023, his latest work for The Royal Ballet, set to music by Anna Throvaldsdottir, with lighting by Lucy Carter, set design by the late Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera, and costumes by Burberry’s Daniel Lee. ABBA Voyage, the revolutionary concert that launched the Swedish pop sensations back onstage in an outstanding avatar performance in 2022, choreographed by McGregor, continues into 2024.
Wayne McGregor is a Professor of Choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and is part of the Circle of Cultural Fellows at King’s College London. In 2017, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association and topped the list for dance in The Progress 1000 celebration of London’s most influential people in 2018. McGregor’s work has earned him many awards, including four Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards, two Time Out Awards, three South Bank Show Awards, two Olivier Awards, a Prix Benois de la Danse and two Golden Mask Awards. In 2011, McGregor was awarded a CBE for Services to Dance and, in 2021, was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Prix de Lausanne.