The scholarship will be offered to one UK or EU student from the 2015 MA Textiles course, with a new student selected every two years, and it will cover the tuition costs for the two-year course, as well as offer the student a summer placement working with Kiely and her team at her London design studio.
Kiely graduated from the MA Knitted Textiles course at the RCA in 1992, and began her career designing hats before moving on to handbags. Soon after leaving the RCA she set up her label, best known for unique retro prints, it quickly expanded to include a ready-to-wear line, a homeware collection and lifestyle products.
Commenting on the scholarship, Kiely said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be able to help the next generation of designers and give that deserving individual a chance to build upon their talents at the RCA, an environment of which I have such fond memories.”
Professor Clare Johnston, head of textiles at the RCA added: “We’re delighted that Orla is so motivated to "give back" to the College; through this generous gift, Orla is making it possible for a talented textile designer to follow in her shoes.”
Students from across the specialisms of print, knit, mixed media and weave will be considered for the Orla Kiely Scholarship. The selection process will be based on academic merit, established through interviews and portfolio submissions, with the final decision made on the financial situation of shortlisted students.