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Kingston graduate Caryn Franklin awarded MBE

By River Reporter Mar 20, 2013

KU alum and fashion industry icon Caryn Franklin was awarded her MBE.

Gemma Coleman

Kingston graduate Caryn Franklin has been awarded an MBE at Buckingham Palace for her remarkable services to the fashion industry.

Caryn Franklin was awarded her MBE by Princess Anne who warmly congratulated her on her successful, 30-year fashion career.

Franklin, 54, described her time at the Palace as memorable and said that she felt emotional when collecting her MBE. She said: “It was very humbling and quite overwhelming. It looked like an enormous wedding because everyone was wearing their very best clothes with hats and fascinators.”

Franklin studied at Kingston University and achieved a BA degree in graphic design.

Passion for fashion

Her passion for fashion began at Kingston through the influence of her fashion friends who were also successful Kingston graduates.

She said: “I did graphic design but I was always in the fashion department. I used to wear their clothes for them because they always needed bodies for work.”

Franklin gave great credit to the fashion course at Kingston University, describing it as “excellent” and “hard work”.

She was delighted to receive her award from Princess Anne and was astonished at how charismatic she was to every person she spoke to.

Rather dashing

On the day of her award ceremony, Franklin wore a sustainable design by Ada Zanditon, which was complimented by Princess Anne herself. She also wore a leather jacket that had been treated with non-toxic chemicals to create an ethically sound and sustainable outfit.

She said of Princess Anne: “She was great, very warm, very friendly, very talkative. I said to Princess Anne that she was looking rather dashing and I like a woman in uniform. She said, ‘oh I do not have to try, I just put my uniform on’.”

Franklin was the former fashion editor and co-editor of i-D Magazine in the 1980s and has been an influential fashion commentator for 29 years. As the co-chairman of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, she has helped to build Britain’s first ever Breast Cancer Research Centre.


She has worked with major networks to produce TV shows and documentaries as well as writing for newspapers and magazines. She took part in the successful BBC programme The Clothes Show.

Although Franklin now has an MBE, she does not see it as her greatest achievement to date. She said: “Whenever I feel that I have inspired someone with the confidence about their own choices or their own body then that’s a huge achievement.”

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