LONDON, United Kingdom – Yesterday evening’s British Fashion Awards ceremony was a wonderful occasion to celebrate the best in British Fashion Talent. There was a very impressive list of awards categories and an even more impressive list of winners, but I couldn’t fight this nagging feeling that something was missing.
Then, I realised that there was not even one award to acknowledge the various talented business people who also make their own kind of fashion magic, and are an essential part of the British fashion eco-system.
Over the course of the evening, awards were given out for everything from Designer Brand (Jimmy Choo) and Fashion Creator (Tim Walker) to Red Carpet Designer (Matthew Williamson) and Designer of the Year (Luella Bartley) to Model of the Year (Jourdan Dunn). Two new awards were also given out for top Emerging Talent, and I was lucky be seated at a table between the two winners, for Ready-to-Wear (Louise Goldin) and Accessories (Nicholas Kirkwood), both extremely deserving of their honours.
The highlight was seeing (and hearing) the affable Stephen Jones accept an award for Outstanding Achievement for over two decades of work in cutting-edge millinery for the likes of Comme des Garcons, Marc Jacobs, John Galliano for Dior, Giles Deacon and L’Wren Scott. Of his chosen metier, Jones quipped “it is the Esperanto of fashion; nobody does it.”
But, the lack of a business award was especially surprising coming from the British Fashion Council, an organisation which has been desperately trying to shore up its own business credentials and the marketability of British fashion in general. To acknowledge photographers, models, designers and not recognise even one business type was a glaring omission.
It’s not like there was a shortage of business talent around. I spotted Joseph Velosa (the business partner of Matthew Williamson), James MacArthur (the new CEO of Harrods), and Natalie Massenet (Founder and Chairman of Net-a-Porter, recently interviewed on BoF), amongst others.
Maybe one of these three will be honoured next year? Stay tuned.