The BIID is delighted to announce that iconic designer Orla Kiely will be speaking at the BIID Annual Conference on 16th June 2016, at the Royal Geographical Society, London. Orla Kiely will also be presented with a prestigious BIID Honorary Fellowship, in recognition of her significant contribution to design. 

Once described as the ‘Queen of Prints’[1], the Irish-born designer has become a household name with her distinctive style and vintage-inspired designs. During Orla’s appearance at the conference she will be discussing her life, professional experience and design inspiration. BIID President Daniel Hopwood comments;

 “We are hugely honoured that Orla Kiely will be joining us on stage at this year’s BIID Conference. She has made an enormous contribution to our profession with her inspirational textile designs and innovative use of prints, which have become iconic across the world. Orla has made a huge impact on design with her covetable and eclectic collections. This makes her a very worthy recipient of the prestigious BIID honorary fellowship. We look forward to welcoming her to the stage to share her story.”

Orla qualified as a textile designer at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and began her career working as a wallpaper and fabric designer in New York. She then moved to England to work for fashion brand Esprit, whilst completing an MA in knitwear at the Royal College of Art (RCA). A range of hats Orla designed at part of her exit collection was purchased by Harrods, launching her into the exclusive London fashion scene. She returned to the RCA as Acting Professor to the department of textiles.

Orla’s career and reputation skyrocketed following the huge success of her laminated fabric handbags. In 1997 she launched The Orla Kiely partnership with husband Dermott Rowan, growing her brand and diversifying her collections. Her designs, which are heavily inspired by the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, centre around her iconic ‘Stem’ pattern and are bold and colourful with an instantly recognisable dash of retro charm.

Over the past few decades Orla’s timeless prints have achieved huge success and her product range has diversified astoundingly. Her designs now adorn a vast selection of items including clothes, home ware, accessories, furnishings and even a range of cars.

In 2010 Orla was one of six contemporary, internationally renowned Irish fashion designers to feature on a set of postage stamps issued by the Irish government. Amongst her many prestigious accolades, Orla has been awarded an honorary OBE in recognition of her services to business and the fashion industry, Senior Fellowship at the Royal College of Art and, most recently, Honorary Doctorate at the Norwich University of the Arts. She now lives and works in London with stores in Covent Garden and Soho, New York.

‘In Conversation with Orla Kiely’ will be one of the many highlights of this year’s BIID Annual Conference, entitled ‘Interior Identities’. It will be a day of stimulating seminars and talks and will also include the presentation of the Institute's Honorary Fellowships, created to recognise those who have had a profound impact on the development and success of the interior design profession.

For more information on this year’s BIID Annual Conference, to buy tickets and to access the full programme, please visit .

[1] The Guardian

For further information, please contact:

Jenny Parker or Sarah Locke at Wildwood Public Relations           

Tel :  +44 (0)1293 851115              

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About the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID)

Established in 1965, the BIID is the professional institute for interior designers in the UK.

The BIID’s growing national and international membership represents both the commercial and residential sectors, from heritage to cutting edge. In addition to rigorous entry requirements that assess training, experience and professionalism, the Institute requires members to continue their professional development throughout their career, ensuring their continued expertise in design process, practice and regulatory matters.

The BIID has been granted the prestigious and rare accolade of Institute status by the Minister of State. The Institute’s mission is to encourage and support creativity and competence in the field of interior design through facilitating best practice, practical professional support, development opportunities and education.

On the national stage, the BIID is a full member of the Construction Industry Council and, as a result, is now part of Government consultations to advise on new policy and legislation. Internationally, the BIID is represented on the board of the International Federation of Interior Architects and Designers. More details at