Anyone who is anyone in the fashion industry sat at the Royal Albert Hall in London on November 29 for The Fashion Awards. If you are a young creative looking to break into this industry, you should know about this event. One day, that could be you!
This year, the awards were hosted by entertainment icon Billy Porter. Porter is not only known for breaking the barrier between gendered clothing on red carpets, but is also an award-winning performer, director, and playwright. Several celebrities attended Monday’s event, including Dua Lipa, Priyanka Chopra, and Zendaya as well as established professionals from the industry.
This year’s ceremony was held in partnership with TikTok. For the first time ever, the experience was livestreamed on TikTok, placing viewers on the red carpet alongside their icons. TikTok hosts Tega Alexander, Elsa Majimbo, and Henry Holland offered fashion enthusiasts an exclusive look into the awards. It proves the awards’ mission to connect with the artists of Gen-Z and open its doors to a global community.
The Fashion Awards’ website reads, “We have a duty to support the younger generation, keep them inspired and motivate them to know that there is a future in creativity.” The event gives aspiring fashion professionals an inside look into what success looks like, according to established members of the industry. The event is catered toward acknowledged experts, operated with the next generation of fashion industry professionals in mind.
The event occurred the day after the tragic death of game-changing, American designer Virgil Abloh. The Fashion Awards gave attendees the opportunity to mourn the world’s loss while celebrating its progress through pandemic struggles over the past two years.
To understand The Fashion Awards, you should know the history behind the annual ceremony. Originally titled the British Fashion Awards until 2016, the celebration began in the United Kingdom in 1989 to recognize the talent within the global industry throughout the year.
The awards were held as a fundraiser for the British Fashion Council (BFC) Foundation. BFC gathers together charities that aid people on all levels of the British fashion trade. The foundation aims to support talent through education, grant-giving, business mentoring, and community.
This year, accolades included Designer of the Year and the BFC Foundation Award.
Kim Jones was selected as the most influential designer and was awarded the Designer of the Year award over his fellow nominees Daniel Lee, Demna Gvasalia, Jonathan Anderson, and co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons. Jones is the artistic director for Dior Men and took on Karl Lagerfeld’s role at Fendi in 2020. He is known for revolutionizing menswear in luxury, establishing a new modern approach to design.
The BFC Foundation Award recognized Nensi Dojaka as “an emerging designer talent, who over the last 12 months has had a major creative impact on global fashion, from those receiving financial and mentoring support from the BFC Foundation in this year.” Bethany Williams, Bianca Saunders, Priya Ahluwalia, and Richard Quinn were also nominated for this award.
Dojaka is an Albanian designer who gained global attention this year when supermodel Bella Hadid wore a piece from her AW 20 collection to the 2021 VMA awards. At her show at London Fashion Week in February, she was able to showcase her vision through intricate cuts and impressive new methods of layering material. According to her website, her mission is “to repaint the image of women; showing both sides: the vulnerability, but mainly the strength that characterizes them.”
It is important for trying go-getters within the CF community to be aware of who is up-and-coming in the industry. You should stay ahead of the news and be prepared for who the next big designers will be, and how they are transforming the workings of fashion. Watch closely to what buzzing names are creating, and be inspired by the passion behind each project. You will benefit from taking part in this community.
Several other honors were presented at the event. Tommy Hilfiger was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award for his work toward creating an inclusive space for brands to thrive. The Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator recognized Ib Kamara’s dedication to embracing culture and diversity through his art. Alessandro Michele was credited for growth with Gucci through the Trailblazer Award. The Special Recognition Award winner was Dylan Jones, while Simone Rocha earned the Independent British Designer Award.
Over 800 key members of the international creative business were named 15 “Leaders of Change.” These are people who have transformed fashion over the last twelve months, falling under three categories: creativity, environment, and people.
Michele, Gvasalia, Anderson, Kim Jones, and, of course, Virgil Abloh were celebrated for their creativity in design which paved new ways of presenting clothing to the consumer world.
Ahluwalia, Williams, Gabriela Hearst, Phoebe English, and Stella Mccartney were recognized for their efforts toward making fashion more environmentally-conscious. Through new production and distribution developments, these five designers are starting a movement that will change the way we shop.
Edward Enninful, Harris Reed, Kenya Hunt, Samuel Ross, and Telfar Clemens were publicly appreciated for their impact on the community, promoting diversity in every position with their brand. They have given a voice to those who had been silenced throughout history.
If you are serious about a career in fashion, take the time to know these names. What is happening in the industry? Who is making big strides in fashion? How are they making a real change through their art…and how can you do the same one day?
Featured photo by @kenyahunt.