Sad news from the U.K.: Louise Wilson, the Central Saint Martins professor who mentored Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Christopher Kane, has died at the untimely age of 52, The Independent reports. Wilson was the director of the prestigious fashion college’s M.A. program, and shepherded young London talents like Simone Rocha, Mary Katrantzou, and Roksanda Ilincic in more recent years. She was awarded an OBE in 2008 for her contributions to the fashion industry.
Wilson studied at Central Saint Martins under Ossie Clark, and later worked for such brands as Donna Karan and Gianfranco Ferré before returning to the school as an instructor in 1999. McCartney told WWD that Wilson was “a true hero of fashion. She held no prisoners, and had a voice that all looked to in our industry. [She] inspired and created some of the greatest talents in fashion. No one will ever replace [her] because [she was] a true one off. What a lady.”