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Dame Zandra Rhodes's Biography

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Zandra Rhodes was born in Chatham in Kent in 1940.

She came to London when she was 21 to study printed textile design at the Royal College of Art.

She taught at the Ravensbourne College of Art and also in High Wycombe to make the money to live on. Then she had her first major breakthrough making prints for two young designers Foale and Tuffin, in Carnaby Street.

In the late 1960s, Zandra Rhodes went into partnership with Sylvia Ayton and Vanessa Redgrave sponsored The Fulham Road Clothes Shop, which they opened.

In the early 1970s Ronnie Sterling backed Zandra in her own shop and by the end of the decade her prominence in London’s fashion world was assured.

Zandra told the book London Lives: “In 1977 I did the punk collection and people called me the Princess of Punk. It didn’t sell well, but it helped make my name.”

She has a  studio in Bermondsey attached to the Fashion & Textile Museum, which she founded in May 2003.

Dame Zandra Rhodes has clothed numerous famous people including Princess Diana, Diana Ross, and Kylie Minogue.

In June 2019, her long-standing partner US movie executive Salah Hassanein died, aged 98.

In July 2019, the BBC revealed that Zandra Rhodes would be one of the contestants on Celebrity Masterchef.

In 2020, she became one of the celebrities featured on the BBC's The Real Marigold Hotel.

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