British fashion entrepreneur awarded honorary degree

London born Barry Laden MBE FRSA, received an honorary degree of Doctor of Design from Southampton Solent University today in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the fashion industry.

Barry is highly supportive of Southampton Solent students, acting as a guest speaker, mentor and promoter of student employability through live business experience.

On receiving his award the graduation ceremony on 17 November, Barry Laden said:" I am so pleased to accept this honorary award from Southampton Solent University. There are many fashion courses across our universities but Southampton Solent has taken a unique approach that has resulted in a rare, excellent provision for students which places the University’s School of Fashion at the top of its field.”

Last month, after two years of successful trading, the University’s award-winning Re:So store moved to a larger, permanent space in The Marlands shopping centre in Southampton. It was officially opened by Barry who loved the new industrial chic styling as well as the addition of the creative learning zone on the upper floor.

Barry has a long association of providing retail space for small independent fashion designers. In 1999 The Laden Showroom opened in Brick Lane and now supports and sells for over 65 designers. They have access to coaching for developing international business on hand through fashion website In 2012 he founded the East End’s first clothing factory to open for decades, East End Manufacturing, which was launched by London by Boris Johnson.

He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s New Year 2011 Honours List for services to the fashion industry.


About Southampton Solent University 

Southampton Solent University offers more than 23,000 students over 200 qualifications ranging from HND to PhD, in subjects such as maritime education and training, fashion and design, media and television, music, health, sport and leisure, business, IT and technology. The University was awarded the 2013 Quality Assurance kitemark for quality and standards of teaching and learning. Solent was voted one of the most creative universities in the UK in a Which? University 2013 poll of students. Solent Business School has been awarded the Small Business Charter Award, which is supported by the Association of Business Schools and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and ‘gold approval’ by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).


About Us

Home to around 11,000 students studying everything from HNDs to PhDs, Southampton Solent University is dedicated to enabling learners of all backgrounds to become enterprising citizens and responsible leaders, while also promoting economic and social prosperity. Winner of the Times Higher Education ‘Most Improved Student Experience’ Award 2015, Solent is a dynamic university with strong local links and a growing network of global connections – and a reputation for developing grounded, well-prepared graduates with the skills and experience employers want. Holder of the small business charter, home to one of the world’s leading maritime training academies and voted one of the UK’s most creative universities in the 2013 and 2014 Which? University student polls, Solent applies passion and innovative practice to all its courses. Spanning business and law, the creative industries, engineering and technology, maritime, media, sport and tourism, those courses deliver a practical blend of career-focused tuition and real-world experience – giving our students the tools they need to shape their own success.



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Southampton Solent has taken a unique approach that has resulted in a rare, excellent provision for students which places the University’s School of Fashion at the top of its field
Barry Laden MBE