The British Fashion Council unveiled its newly-digital Fashion Awards on Thursday evening and instead of just replacing the usual live event with an online version, it changed the format completely to reflect the momentous change that’s happening at present.
Instead of recognising the top designers in various categories, in a digital film premiere and in four groups, it hailed the 20 individuals and brands “who led change in the fashion industry in 2020”.
The Creativity group was a roll call of major names, both long-established and newer to the industry. They included Graces Wales Bonner for “her designs [that] continue to evoke the rich history of African culture and challenge the gender norms of Black male masculinity and identity”.
Also on the list was Jonathan Anderson who “redefined the possibilities of what a show can be with Covid-19 restrictions by pioneering show-in-a-box and show-on-the-wall concepts for both JW Anderson and Loewe. The collections were a defiant celebration of fashion and craft, impeccable quality and attention to details”.
Kim Jones made the grade for creativity that “knows no boundaries and each new collection both surprises and intrigues”. And the Prada label, plus Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, were also honoured for “the power of creativity and the importance of conversation and coming together to reimagine fashion for the future”.
Last but not least in this group, Riccardo Tisci and Burberry were awarded for Tisci’s “extraordinary creative thinking teamed with Burberry’s core values of inclusivity and sustainability [that] reaffirm the brand’s position as a global creative powerhouse and leader of change”. The BFC also highlighted innovative use of technology.
Then there was the Environment category that included Anya Hindmarch, who “has dedicated extensive time and effort into research and development to help reduce waste in fashion’s supply chain”; Christopher Raeburn who “has championed sustainable practices to build a responsible business while being a fantastic spokesperson for how things can be done differently without sacrificing creativity”; Gabriela Hearst who “redefined modern luxury by championing luxury with integrity”; Stella McCartney, described as “the industry trailblazer for sustainable practices in fashion”; and The Fashion Pact that has almost doubled its signatories in the last year, bringing together 60+ leading companies to drive sustainability in fashion.
The next group was Community and this also featured some diverse names such as A Sai Ta, who’s “part of a new generation of East Asian designers who reflect on their culture through a uniquely British lens with a brand message of Actively Standing Against Injustice”. Chanel was honoured too, for its contribution to positive change and enriching the communities in which it actively participates. In response to the pandemic, it made significant charitable donations, manufactured PPR and focused on cutting its carbon footprint.
Bethany Williams, Cozette McCreary, Holly Fulton and Phoebe English, were recognised for setting up the Emergency Designer Network in response to the pandemic and helping create PPE. And Kenneth Ize was chosen for his support of the communities of weavers, artisans and design groups across Nigeria and of the LGBTQIA+ community through his work.
The final name in this group, Michael Halpern, was hailed for his tribute at London Fashion Week to frontline health workers and his contribution to the production of PPE.
Finally, the People category recognised those “who have led change by encouraging equal, diverse, empowered workforces from head office to supply chain and shop floor”.
They included Aurora James for her efforts to “bring change to the fashion industry through her campaign for systemic change to promote black-owned businesses and through her traditional design practices”; Vogue Editor Edward Enninful “for his outstanding contribution to diversity” through the magazine; Lindsay Peoples Wagner and Sandrine Charles for the Black in Fashion Council group of editors, models, stylists, media executives, creatives and industry stakeholders aiming to bring diversity, inclusion and accountability to the industry; Priya Ahluwalia for her work in pioneering sustainable fashion while telling the stories of those who make her clothes and the communities she works with; and Samuel Ross who created the Black Lives Matter Financial Aid Scheme.
The awards for Community were presented by Priyanka Chopra Jonas, the awards for People by Lewis Hamilton, the awards for Environment by Aja Barber and Maisie Williams, and the awards for Creativity by Rosalía.
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