LONDON (LALATE) – Catherine Walker is dead at 65, and yet while Catherine Walker’s name was not in the news alongside client Princess Diana for decades, that was Walker’s decision. When Catherine Walker first started working for then Diana Spencer, Walker hired a public relations team, not to promote her name, but to keep it out of the press. For the French born Walker, she dreaded fame but loved fashion.
Catherine Walker’s died on September 23, reveals London news tonight. She was Lady Diana’s designer since before her wedding in 1981. That relationship will result in Walker designing over 1,000 outfits for Diana. While British news tonight is unsure how many clients she had, the Telegraph believes her client base was more than 2,000 names and included Shakira Caine, Darcey Bussell, Joely Richardson and Queen Noor of Jordan.
Her honors were many: Designer of the Year for Couture at the British Fashion Awards in 1990, Designer of the Year for Glamour. She set up her own company in 1976 called Chelsea Design Company, changed the name Catherine Walker & Co to 1994. Her first husband died when she was young. She later remarried Said Ismael. Walker underwent breast cancer surgery in 1995.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
Her family said the following this weekend about her passing: “She overcame young widowhood and illness with enduring bravery. She built one of the most successful British couture brands and at the same time raised a loving family. She has dressed many of the world’s most beautiful women.”