This year the Fashion Awards dropped the ‘British’ in its attempt to become a truly global celebration of the worldwide fashion industry. With this came the promise of an ultra-glamourous Oscar style Award show housed at London’s very own Royal Albert Hall. Although, this lavish extravaganza may not have achieved the Academy Award status it wished, it was a night not to be missed. Each and every winner was perfectly suited to the award they were presented with and I am going to show you just why that is.
British emerging talent – Molly Goddard
Goddard’s vibrant fun-frilled designs have been making waves within the fashion industry since 2013, when her collaboration with ASOS sold out in seconds. Since then the West London designer has been on the rise and Goddard’s brand continues to question the status quo of the fashion industry. This year the designer invited us to an interactive exhibition, in which visitors could channel their inner-designer by decorating seven-metre long tulle dresses. Goddard’s designs have caught the eye of top models, with the likes of Adwoa Aboah likely to be found draped in a bright frilly Goddard piece. As such, it should not come as a shock that this rising star was awarded the British Emerging Talent Award.
Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator – Bruce Weber
Bruce Weber’s creative eye has had a significant impact on the fashion industry over the years and is responsible for capturing some of the industry’s most iconic campaigns. His most notable works include the infamous photograph of Olympic athlete Tom Hintnaus in white briefs for Calvin Klein and his shots for Ralph Lauren’s winter 2006 Collection. Constantly working with big brands and names clearly rubbed off on Weber, in 2003 he revealed his own fashion label Weberbilt. Weber’s career has clearly had a tremendous impact upon the fashion industry and therefore it makes perfect sense that he be awarded the Isabella Blow Award to honour his outstanding contribution to the industry.
Special Recognition: Celebrating 100 Years of British Vogue – Alexandra Shulman
The British fashion bible’s centenary year has certainly been eventful. We saw the Duchess of Cambridge grace the centenary issue, a two-part BBC documentary, an exhibition housed in the National Portrait Gallery and the publication of the memoir of the Editor-in-Chief, Alexandra Shulman. Thus, it seems fitting that the publication and its impact on the industry be recognised formally at the Fashion Awards 2016.
International Accessories Designer – Alessandro Michele
Since being appointed Creative Director of the Italian fashion powerhouse, Gucci, Alessandro Michele has become a leading figure within the industry. Under his reign Gucci’s sales have risen dramatically and continue to do so as he redefines the brand with his unique vintage inspired designs. Michele’s quirky style is also evident within his accessories line, often featuring exotic beasts mixed with traditional Gucci patterns and customs. It is of no surprise that Michele’s role in shaping the fashion industry was acknowledged by this award.
International Urban Luxury Brand – Vetements
If 2016 has been any brands year, it’s got to be Vetements. The brand has come a long way since the release of its first collection in 2014 and has since been featured on the cover of Vogue and is likely to be found in department stores amongst the works of well-established fashion houses. This edgy, grungy brand was bound to win this award leaving no room for competitors.
International Model of the Year – Gigi Hadid
Over the last few years Gigi Hadid has taken the fashion world by storm and has become a household name. The supermodel has bagged herself sixteen Vogue covers worldwide, she has been the face of numerous high-profile campaigns and has collaborated with the American fashion house, Tommy Hilfiger, to produce the Tommy X Gigi Collection. Gigi’s domination of the industry is sure to continue and she is likely to go down in history as a fashion icon. This award credits her influence beyond the catwalk and her reign over the industry.
British Menswear Designer – Craig Green
Green’s impact upon menswear has been pivotal over recent years. In 2012 his namesake label was born and since, British menswear has never been the same. Green’s emotive and dramatic shows often highlight the beauty of his subtle signature pieces and act as a juxtaposition. The iconic worker jacket, which constantly remerges, is a clear example of this. Ultimately, it is right that Green’s distinctive approach and vision be recognised through this award.
Swarovski Award for Positive Change – Franca Sozzani
Franca Sozzani is by far one of the most influential women within the fashion industry. She has achieved plenty in her career, overcoming numerous hurdles and braking down barriers within the industry by constantly questioning the status quo. The Editor-in-Chief of Italian Vogue helped create the phenomenon that is the ‘supermodel’, dedicated an entire issue of the renowned publication to the beauty of black women and in 2011 launched Vogue Curvy celebrating plus-sized figures within the industry. It was necessary that such an influential woman and her efforts towards positive change be acknowledged.
British Womenswear Designer – Simone Rocha
This Irish born designer has come a long way since her London Fashion Week debut in 2010. Since then she opened her flagship store in London in 2015 and now the likes of Rihanna are to be found in a Rocha original piece. It comes as no surprise that she inherited her father’s (British designer, John Rocha) keen eye for style and raw talent. It seems appropriate that her sheer skill and talent be recognised through receiving this award.
International Business Leader – Gucci’s Marco Bizzarri
Whilst Michele’s quirky redefinition of the biggest Italian fashion house has had a crucial role to play in the reprise of the brand, credit must also be given to the brands CEO, Marco Bizzarri. Since he began his role in January 2015 and since Michele provided the visionary turnaround the brand was in desperate need of, Gucci’s sales have climbed by 17%. The redevelopment of the brand has been a clear success and it is necessary that those responsible be credited for such a dramatic turnaround.
New Fashion Icons Award – Jaden and Willow Smith
The choice of recipients of this award saw the rise of the millennials. Jaden and Willow Smith’s attitude to fashion embodies the modern views challenging societies established norms. Jaden has long been an advocate of gender fluidity and drew attention to the cause when he was made the new face of Louis Vuitton’s SS16 Womenswear line, wearing a knee-length kilt. His younger sister, Willow, was also crowned Chanel’s brand ambassador at the age of 15. Both of the Smith children have had a pivotal impact upon the industry and have achieved more than most adults trying to break into the fashion world.
International Ready-To-Wear Designer – Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia
Gvasalia’s vision has changed how we perceive the 97-year-old fashion house, Balenciaga, completely. Like the brands founder, Gvasalia is not afraid to push the boundaries. But since Gvasalia was appointed Creative Director in October 2015, the brand has been intensely redefined by Gvasalia’s unique style, merging urban street wear and high fashion couture. 2016 has been sure to welcome this with open arms. This redirection under Gvasalia, along with the Vetements movement, has had a crucial impact on the industry, challenging and pressuring established fashion house to break free from their norms.
British Brand – Alexander McQueen collected by creative director Sarah Burton
Since the brand was born in 1992, British fashion has never been the same. Under the rule of its founder, the late Alexander McQueen, and his successor, Sarah Burton, the brand continues to create lavish, unconventional pieces that do not fail to inspire the masses. It is therefore, no surprise that this brand which represents true British talent, with a Northern Creative Director and a founder with Scottish-heritage, was presented with such a prestigious award.
Outstanding Achievement – Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren has not only had a tremendous impact upon the American fashion industry, but has had remarkable impact across the industry globally. At 28 years-old, Lauren established the brand, which has since maintained its position as a leading global corporation and maintained its impeccable reputation and distinctive style. Under his fashion empire, Lauren has launched over seventeen brands and has over four-hundred-and-nighty stores worldwide. It was only right that Ralph Lauren’s significant contribution to the global industry be recognised through receiving this award.