Jasper Conran

"I am absolutely thrilled," said Jasper Conran as he accepted his OBE. And with 20 years as a highly succesful fashion designer under his belt, the honour was well-deseved.

Born with an instinctive passion for the arts, Jasper slipped easily into the guise of fashion designer.

His contribution to the retail industry has been so great that in 2008, he was awarded his OBE.

After receiving the award at Buckingham Palace from Prince Charles, he spoke of his delight: "I am absolutely thrilled to get the award. It is very nice when your country recognises you."

Jasper was born in London in 1959 to designer Sir Terence Conran and his first wife, author Shirley Conran.

He was educated at the prestigious Parsons School of Art and Design in New York and unveiled his first collection at the age of 19 for New York's famous store Henri Bendel in 1979.

The following year, he was elected to the London Designer collections and released his first menswear line in 1985.

His signature lying in his cut combined with a particularly British sensibility, Jasper has been chosen to outfit royal brides: he designed Lady Sarah Chatto's wedding and bridesmaid dresses in 1994.

And he also designed wedding dresses for Jasmine Guinness and Paula Yates.

In 1999, Jasper turned his hand to stemware designing, creating a signature range for Stuart Crystal and later for Waterford.

He launched a fine bone china tableware collection for Wedgwood in 2001, which is on display at his flagship store in Sackville Street, Mayfair.

But his most successful career move to date came in the form of a womenswear line for Debenhams.

Entitled J, the association has grown to include accessories, lingerie, hosiery, menswear, childrenswear and homeware.

Jasper is also known in the world of costume designing, having created outfits for over 14 ballets, operas and theatre productions.

And away from the arts, he renovates historic houses – most recently he bought Walpole House in Chiswick.

Openly gay, Jasper was ranked number 66 in the annual Pink List of 100 influential gay and lesbian people in Britain published by The Independent on Sunday in 2009.

The following year the newspaper described him as a "National Treasure".

 

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