Iconic British model honoured with University accolade

Erin O'Connor

Iconic British supermodel Erin O'Connor has handed graduates her top tips of the trade as she was honoured for her contribution to the fashion world.

The Walsall born model swapped catwalk for cap and gown to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Birmingham City University, in recognition of her career which has spanned nearly 20 years.

Her award was presented during a ceremony alongside students graduating from the University's Schools of Fashion and Textiles, Architecture and Design and the School of Visual Communication.

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Speaking after picking up her award Erin said: "I feel so jubilant right now. It's such an honour to be here with Birmingham City University.

"One of my dreams was to graduate and fate intervened and I was taken away from education, I thought it would be momentarily, but 20 years later I'm still working.

"Growing up I had three main aims, to be independent, self-sufficient and educated. And I think the latter requires a lifelong commitment.

Erin started her career after being spotted on a school trip to Birmingham's Clothes Show.

She has worked with legendary designers including Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen and Ralph Lauren.

She has also featured on the front page of numerous magazines and fronted campaigns for brands such as Chanel, Armani, and Marks and Spencer.

On receiving her parchment, Erin dedicated the award to her son Albert who was born last year and commended her fellow graduates.

She added: "Don't accept other people's limitations or definitions, work harder than you thought possible, be kind to yourself and never ever forget to have fun along the way."

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