In a break from tradition to mark a tumultuous year, the British Fashion Council’s (BFC) annual awards on Thursday honoured 20 individuals and brands, including Chanel and Burberry, who “led change in the industry”.
The honourees, revealed in a video posted online, were recognised for their contribution to one of four categories — community, creativity, environment and people — with many honoured for their contribution during the coronavirus pandemic.
They included French fashion house Chanel, which “moved manufacturing to support the production of PPE” and British giant Burberry, which joined the coronavirus fight by repurposing its trench coat factory to make non-surgical gowns.
More than 800 members of the international fashion industry were asked to nominate who they thought should receive an accolade, with the list being whittled down to a final 20.
Indian actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas was among those presenting the awards, as was Formula One great Lewis Hamilton.
Other honourees included London-based designer Michael Halpern, whose tribute at London Fashion Week to frontline health workers and contribution to the production of PPE was called “inspiring and extraordinary”.
The people category recognised those who encouraged “equal, diverse, empowered workforces from head office to supply chain and shop floor.”
They included New York-based designer Aurora James, who was honoured for her campaign calling on retailers to commit to dedicating 15 percent of their shelf space to black-owned brands, while others received accolades for their work with Black Lives Matter. British big-hitter Stella McCartney was honoured in the environmental category for having “raised the bar for the industry as a whole with creativity and sustainability shaping the brand’s DNA.”
Fellow British designer Jonathan Anderson, founder of the JW Anderson label, picked up an award in the creativity category, for those who have “defined the shape of global fashion.”
“This year, Jonathan Anderson 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,” said the BFC.
“The collections were a defiant celebration of fashion and craft.”
The Fashion Awards is the annual fundraiser for the BFC Foundation. — AFP