Headshot of Simon Ward looking to camera in suit with arms crossed

Doctor of Letters

An innovator and leader in the world of British fashion.

Simon Ward was educated at Portsmouth Grammar School and went on to study Geography at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

After graduating, he spent ten years perfecting his voice as an opera singer before starting work in the menswear department of Selfridges.

From there, he joined the British Clothing Industry Association. In 1986, he moved to the newly-created British Fashion Council (BFC) where he was responsible for London Fashion Week catwalk shows.

He was part of the team that created the British Fashion Awards (1989) and set up the Colleges Council (1990) to build strong working relationships between colleges and industry.

Until 2016, his day job was as Chief Operating Officer for the British Fashion Council. He ran London Fashion Week for 35 years.

Simon oversaw the establishment and development of the BFC's New Generation and Fashion Forward sponsorship schemes, the BFC's Business Support programme and the first British menswear showcase for designers – London Collections: Men.

He served as a trustee of the BFC’s Education Foundation, which awarded fashion degree scholarships, and he oversaw the development of the BFC’s Education Pillar, helping those aspiring to enter the world of fashion find their way.

As a Director of the Fashion Arts Foundation, he played a key role in establishing links between fashion designers and other creative industries.

Now a weekly presenter of Worship at Home on Premier Christian Radio, Simon writes books, speaks, and mentors.

He has recorded his first album, Declare His Glory, as part of PsalmSongs, a multimedia course seeking to equip Christians with confidence in their faith.

In 2013, he published the book Riding the Tide, focused on how faith works, practically, in the workplace. In 2016, he published The Character of Fashion.

He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Portsmouth in 2014 and an MBE in 2017, for his services to British fashion.