UCC to honour fashion designer, furniture maker and historian Don O’Neill

A fashion designer whose gowns have been worn by Oprah Winfrey is to be honoured at University College Cork later this week, along with an accomplished furniture maker and a cultural historian.

UCC to honour fashion designer, furniture maker and historian Don O’Neill

Fashion designer Don O’Neill, furniture designer and maker Joseph Walsh and cultural historian, curator and philanthropist Nicholas Fox Weber are each to receive an honorary doctorate on Friday.

Mr O’Neill, a native of Ballyheigue in Co Kerry and the creative director of global label THEIA, will be conferred with a doctor of arts degree. Now based in New York, the designer is known worldwide for evening wear.

Having initially trained as a chef, Don was able to follow his true passion and study to be a fashion designer after winning a full tuition scholarship to the Barbara Bourke College of Fashion Design in Dublin.

He has gone on to work in London, Paris, and New York with prominent labels and individuals, including Gina Fratini, Christian Lacroix and the Badgley Mischka Platinum label.

Celebrities who have worn his work include Taylor Swift, Emmy Rossum, Idina Menzel, Oprah Winfrey, and Amy Poehler.

Self-taught craftsman and designer Joseph Walsh, who will be conferred with a doctor of arts degree, lives in Kinsale and founded his furniture studio and workshop in Riverstick in 1999.

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