Hosted by the British Fashion Council (BFC), this year’s British Fashion Awards was held in partnership with Swarovski at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The annual award commemorates individuals and businesses that have made a significant contribution to the global fashion industry over the past year.
Comprising of 2,000 members of the fashion industry across 32 countries, these voters named their choices for each award and the final nomination was announced with 10 categories with five brands/individuals that had received the highest votes. In addition, special awards are given out each year to recognise individuals that made an indelible mark in the industry.
Besides celebrating the best and the brightest in the industry, the Fashion Awards is also the main fundraising event to support charities under the BFC. These charity organisations promote British fashion and support the education and nurturing of future talents in the fashion industry. To show their support, Swarovski pledged a £300,000 donation to the BFC Education Foundation prior to the awards.
Here at Her World, we champion strong, achiever women who confidently etch a name for themselves, which is why we are highlighting four women who got recognised at the Fashion Awards.
The first of them was Clare Waight Keller.
The first female creative director at French luxury label Givenchy, Clare Waight Keller won the British Designer of the Year Womenswear category. We’re not surprised at the win, seeing as she was handpicked by the duchess herself, Meghan Markle, to design her royal wedding dress back in March.
Her dress for Meghan, was reportedly seen by over 1.9 billion people as the ceremony was televised worldwide. This feat, no doubt, added much street cred and clout to the designer and the French label, and her commendation further highlighted her creative and commercial success in the past year.
With a touching reunion that was emotional for them both (and the audience), the Duchess made a surprise guest appearance and presented her with the award at the British Fashion Awards.
To highlight the achievement Keller has garnered, she was up against powerhouse names that include: Jonathan Anderson (JW Anderson), Roksanda Ilinčić (ROKSANDA), Simone Rocha and Victoria Beckham, who just celebrated her tenth year anniversary at the recent London Fashion Week. Jonathan Anderson (2017) and Simone Rocha (2016) were former recipients of this award.
Miuccia Prada was a fellow achiever woman who was commended that night. The Outstanding Achievement Award cements Miuccia’s contributions and influence to the fashion world over her four decade long career since she started at Prada.
As the lead creative director and co-chief executive officer of Prada, Miuccia took reins in 1978 and worked with Patrizio Bertelli and grew the small family business known for their leather goods nylon backpack to a global fashion name we know today.
How did she do it?
By pioneering a new business model in the luxury market that extended direct control over the entire process.
Coupled with Miuccia’s ability to constant innovate and refresh the brand’s aesthetics, she is “unquestionably one of the most influential designers in fashion history,” as Nadja Swarovski puts it. Under her leadership, the Prada group has expanded to include fellow luxury brands like Miu Miu and Church’s.
Fashion is not all that Miuccia is passionate about. Fondazione Prada is an art museum in Milan and was created in 1993 to showcase works from other artistic disciplines like cinema, photography, dance and architecture. It was also the site where she showcased her Spring/Summer 2019 collection.
Besides Miuccia Prada, fellow fashion icon, Dame Vivienne Westwood, was also commended – with the Swarovski Award for Positive Change. The award first started in 2016 and complements Swarovski’s commitment to target humanitarian and environmental issues and former winners were Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri (2016) and Vogue Italia’s Franca Sozzani.
Vivienne is not only synonymous with the punk-rock aesthetic, she has also spent two decades campaigning for humanitarian and environmental issues. According to a press release by the Fashion Awards, she “is a trustee of Liberty, patron of Reprieve and campaigner for Amnesty International, War Child, Friends of the Earth and the Environmental Justice foundation, amongst others.” Her collaboration with Riccardo Tisci and Burberry supports Cool Earth, a rainforest charity she has worked with for years.
Since 2010, Vivienne Westwood has also been producing bags through the Ethical Fashion Initiative. This programme provides work for women from marginalised African communities. small-scale manufacturers and craftspeople. The collections make use of recycled materials sourced from slums and landfills and the earnings aim to stop the spread of deforestation in the vicinity.
Her most recent campaign in 2017, Switch to Green, was done in collaboration with BFC and supported by the Mayor of London’s office. This ongoing movement calls for industry leaders to switch to a greener energy provider and has since garnered the commitment of brands like Kering and Marks & Spencer.
But you would be mistaken if you thought that industry veterans were the only ones who scored a win that night. 17-year-old model Kaia Gerber, also known as the daughter to former supermodel Cindy Crawford, was commended as the Model of the Year.
Amongst fellow nominees Adut Akech, Adwoa Aboah (winner of the same award in 2017), Bella Hadid and Winnie Harlow, Kaia’s victory cements her influence in the fashion realm. Spotted on runways of brands like Valentino and Chanel to gracing the covers of Vogue Paris, Japan and Italia, Kaia’s clearly a fashion darling.
But beyond the fashion world, Kaia has more to offer. She is apparently an honour student at the Malibu High School with a 4.0 GPA, and also supported the March for Our Lives movement earlier in March.
With too many great names to delve into, below is the full list of the other winners from the night. We look forward to another year of talent, inspiration and more iconic moments that will make fashion history in years to come.
Here were the other winners of the night:
Accessories Designer of the Year – Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga
Business Leader – Marco Bizzarri for Gucci
Special Recognition Award for Innovation – Parley for the Oceans
British Emerging Talent Menswear – Samuel Ross for A-COLD-WALL*
British Emerging Talent Womenswear – Richard Quinn for Richard Quinn
British Designer of the Year Menswear – Craig Green for CRAIG GREEN
Isabella Blow Award – Mert & Marcus
2018 Trailblazer – Kim Jones
Brand of the Year – Gucci
Designer of the Year – Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino