28 June 2024

Graduating in 1996 with a degree in Fashion Design BA at the University of Westminster, Stuart Vevers now stands as the first ever creative director of an American fashion brand to receive the full honours Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Stuart has worked in design at a number of fashion brands like Givenchy and Bottega Veneta before he joined Coach in 2013 as a Creative Director. In this role he introduced and designed a ready-to-wear line to the globally recognised leather goods luxury brand, giving Coach a whole new direction. This collection was the crafted result of his years of self-immersion into the rich history and culture of the Coach brand as well as the American high-fashion lifestyle.

Andrew Groves, Professor of Fashion Design and Director of the Westminster Menswear Archive since its foundation in 2016, said: “I am delighted for Stuart Vevers in receiving the prestigious King's Birthday Honours for his exceptional contributions to fashion. Stuart's visionary leadership at Coach has not only revitalised the brand but also set new standards in creativity and innovation within the industry. This honour is well-deserved and recognises his dedication and exceptional talent, which continues to inspire our Fashion students.”

Judith Petts, wife of the former Westminster Vice-Chancellor Geoffrey Petts as well as a well-respected donor of the University, was also awarded by the King as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in recognition of her contributions to Higher Education and sustainability.

While currently serving as the Vice-Chancellor of Plymouth University, Petts has supported Westminster with a generous donation toward establishing The Professor Geoffrey Petts Research Fund in memory of her late husband, to provide PhD researchers with financial support towards equipment and fieldwork costs, making postgraduate research more accessible. Most recently, she has contributed toward the refurbishment and expansion of the Westminster Centre for Nutraceuticals. She is widely respected for her vocal advocacy of decarbonisation, net zero and climate-related innovation and has continuously worked to narrow the gap between societal action and environmental leadership.

Jordan Scammell, Head of Development and Fundraising at Westminster, said: "We are thrilled to see Judith Petts honoured as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Her commitment to higher education, notably at the University of Westminster through the support of The Professor Geoffrey Petts Research Fund and The Centre for Nutraceuticals, has made a real impact on our postgraduate community. Her advocacy for decarbonisation and climate innovation continues to inspire us all.”

Find out more about and support The Geoffrey Petts Memorial Fund.

Learn more about the Fashion courses at the University of Westminster.