Gareth Cattermole; Joe Maher
The British Fashion Council (BFC) partnered with TikTok this year on the Fashion Awards. Though an unexpected duo, the Fashion Awards this year changed its format to evolve into a global entertainment platform in order to grow with the times and merge fashion with our growing technological advancements. The award ceremony included performances and highlights of unique cultural moments throughout 2021, hosted by Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award-winning, and Golden Globe-nominated actor, singer, director, composer, playwright and fashion icon, Billy Porter. The awards comprise 15 Leaders of Change (five winners each under the categories of environment, people and creativity), the Designer of the Year Award, the BFC Foundation Award, the Outstanding Achievement Award and the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator among others.
The Fashion Awards 2021 provided global streaming, with the Brit Award-winning British singer–songwriter Griff performing live from the red carpet at the Royal Albert Hall, London, launching its very first red carpet livestream. The red-carpet presenters, comedienne Elsa Majimbo, designer Henry Holland, and well-known TikTok creator Tega Alexander, spoke to attendees as they made their way into the venue. TikTok also shared the most exquisite and unique red carpet looks in real time by uploading the content into the Fashion Awards TikTok account, with its very own Fashion Awards Glambot.
To pique further interest, TikTok also partnered with Dazed to have an exclusive room inside the ceremony hall, dedicated to winners of the Fashion Awards 2021 as they shared their enthusiasm with the rest of the world backstage. Presenters as well as some of the biggest TikTok creators also uploaded behind-the-scenes content on the Fashion Awards TikTok account.
Actors, singers, artists, models and anyone who is anyone attended the Fashion Awards 2021, including BFC CEO Caroline Rush, Kate Beckinsale, James McAvoy, Kimberley Garner, Maria Sharapova, Jenna Coleman, Kris Jenner, Suzy Menkes, Ozwald Boateng, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas, Demi Moore, Neelam Gill, Gillian Anderson, Eoin McLoughlin, Simone Rocha, Pixie Lott, Oliver Cheshire, Julien Macdonald, Tommy Hilfiger, Jourdan Dunn, Poppy Delevingne, Charlotte Tilbury, Olivia Culpo, Eiza González, Gabriela Hearst, David Gandy, Winnie Harlow, Lily Allen, Elsa Hosk, Lily Cole, Alesha Dixon, Anthony Ramos, Indya Moore, Susie Lau, Dua Lipa, Alexa Chung, Billie Piper, Shanina Shaik, Georgia May Jagger, Adriana Lima, Noomi Rapace, Hailee Steinfeld, Emma Thynn, Marchioness of Bath, Charli XCX, Laura Bailey, Hannah John-Kamen, Stella Maxwell, Munroe Bergdorf, Sherrie Silver, Burna Boy, Robert Konjic, Ciinderella Balthazar, Harris Reed, Simone Ashley, Irene Agbontaen, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Muyna Chawawa, Sydney Lima, Sohee Park, Georgia Palmer, Daniel Lismore, Nicola Roberts, Andreea Cristea, Iain Stirling, Laura Whitmore, Maya Jama, Pelayo Díaz Zapico, Naomi Campbell, Tom Felton, Amy Jackson, Nicola Roberts, Harriet Rose, Freddie Thorp, Lucien Laviscount, Cora Corré, Fran Summers, Sabrina Elba, Law Roach, Jeremy Irvine, Daphne Guinness, Maxim Magnus, Lila Moss, Stella Jones, Kim Jones, Malika Louback, Delfina Delettrez, Silvia Venturini Fendi, Lucy Boynton, Tom Moutchi, Martins Imhangbe, Charithra Chandran, Toni-Blaze Ibekwe, Jodie Harsh, Moses Sumney, Precious Lee, Patricia Manfield, Cindy Bruna, Ayda Williams, Charli Howard, Tommy Dorfman, Erin O’Connor, Karen Elson, Thomas Doherty, Ella Balinska, Regan Walker, Coral Swindells, Zara Larsson, Zawe Ashton, Lorraine Pascale, Eric Underwood, Vanessa Kingori, Rina Sawayama, Ramla Ali, Harris Dickinson, Dee Ocleppo, Liza Koshy, Ophélie Guillermand, Remo Ruffini, Elena Perminova, Harley Viera-Newton, Rochelle Humes, Raff Law, Tatiana Korsakova, Sophie Cookson, Phoebe English, Romeo Beckham, Mia Regan, Wallis Day, Jason Lewis, Eva Apio, Mae Muller, Kristen McMenamy, Sophie Hermann, Fisayo Longe, Raven Smith, Charlotte Olympia Dellal, Alice Naylor-Leyland, Anaïs Gallagher, Molly Goddard, Nadine Leopold, Kaya Scodelario, Paul Mescal, Annie Doble, Susan Bender, Micheal Ward, Griff, Solange Smith, Noel Berry, Bree Runway, Jess Alexander, DJ Fat Tony, Evan Mock, Patrick McDowell, Farida Khelfa, Janke Tailly, Alexandre Mattiussi, Luke Day, Paapa Essiedu, Jessica Wang, Stephanie Phair, Oliver Sim, Romy Madley Croft, Benji Park, Justine Simons, Bianca Saunders, Tom Daley, Tan France, Tania Fares, Deba Hekmat, Olivia Arben, Abby Roberts, Bryan Yambao, Charles Jeffrey, KSI, Kosar Ali, Mona Tougaard, Olivia Buckingham, Addison Rae, Daniel W. Fletcher, and more. Celebrities can be seen mingling amongst one another whether they arrived with a partner or otherwise as they enjoy the atmosphere of the ceremony and pose for the red carpet.
An international judging panel consisting of over a thousand industry experts voted on the nominees and winners of the Fashion Awards 2021.
The Fashion Awards 2021 opened with the tribute to the late Virgil Abloh by British actor Idris Elba, who recited the poem ‘When Great Trees Fall’ by Maya Angelou. Abloh was known to reimagine fashion in his work, combining fashion with music, graphic design, architecture and more. He focused his life’s work on inclusiveness and philanthropy, being the face of Off-White and Louis Vuitton Men. A minute’s silence was observed at the beginning of the event to honour his memory.
Of the honours tonight, the Designer of the Year award was presented to Kim Jones for Dior Men and Fendi by Demi Moore and Tom Daley.
Receiving the BFC Foundation Award was Nensi Dojaka from presenters Evan Mock and Indya Moore. while Simone Rocha claimed the Independent British Brand award for Simone Rocha from Griff.
The Special Recognition Award for Culture Commentary was given to Dylan Jones by Kano and Patrice Evra.
The much-anticipated Leaders of Change awards were presented by none other than Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
The five designers and brands who made a global impact through their creative inputs in design, campaigns, collaborations and firm business foundation under the creativity category were Alessandro Michele for Gucci, Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga, Jonathan Anderson for J. W. Anderson and Loewe, Kim Jones, OBE for Dior Men and Fendi, and Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton Men and Off-White.
Those who have made significant contributions to reducing the environmental impact of the fashion industry to create positive change and receiving the Leaders of Change awards under the environment category are Bethany Williams for Bethany Williams, Gabriela Hearst for Chloé and Gabriela Hearst, Phoebe English for Phoebe English, Priya Ahluwalia for Ahluwalia, and Stella McCartney, OBE for Stella McCartney.
The awards for the people category, which focuses on the influence fashion has on communities and encourages equal, diverse and empowered workforces, were presented to Edward Enninful, OBE, Harris Reed, Kenya Hunt, Samuel Ross, and Telfar Clemens.
Tommy Hilfiger nabbed the award for Outstanding Achievement, presented by Kris Jenner and Law Roach, followed by a performance by Charli XCX.
Stylist Ib Kamara received the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator from Adut Akech and Alton Mason while Sinéad Burke presented the Trailblazer Award to Alessandro Michele for Gucci.
The Fashion Awards 2021 introduced a new award for Metaverse Design which was won by CSapphire.
There were also a number of special celebrations that preceded the awards ceremony. In recognition for prioritizing arts and culture in its brand, Chanel hosted a special performance by dancer, actor and model Lil Buck.
A tribute was made to Fashion East’s innovative creations that spanned the last twenty years which merged fashion, nightlife and art that created and encouraged discourse around topics related to gender, race and sexuality.
The Fashion Awards 2021 also paid an ode to Kylie Minogue, a pop and style icon, with her performance of ‘Slow × Love to Love You Baby’, the Infinite Disco version.
In addition, Billy Porter made special mentions of the New Wave: Creatives 2021, where 50 of the most forward-thinking and inspiring young talents from around the world will receive international PR, year-round social media support across the BFC’s channels, and a purpose-built portal on the Fashion Awards website acting as a go-to resource for the industry to facilitate recruitment of exceptional talent. The list consists of Crystabel Riley (make-up artist), Blake Erik (hairstylist), Crystabel Riley (make-up artist), Amidat Giwa (hairstylist), Chenyu (stylist), David Uzochukwu (photographer), Billy Lobos (stylist), Christina Ebenezer (photographer), Derrick Ofosu Boateng (photographer), Dushan Petrovich (hairstylist), Hugo Yanguela (photographer), Jazz Grant (artist), Jordan Anderson (creative director), Karin Westerlund (make-up artist), Lisa Mård (nail artist), Mata Marielle (make-up artist), Porsche Poon (make-up artist), Raymond Gee (stylist), Ryan Mitchell (hairstylist), Tim Elkaïm (photographer), Vito Fernicola (photographer), Xin Miao (make-up artist), Zandile Tshabalala (artist), Fish Zhang (photographer), Ignasi Monreal (artist), Jeano Edwards (photographer), Joseph Charles Viola (artist), Kristina Nagel (Visual artist), Liv Liberg (photographer), Najia Saad (casting director), Raisa Flowers (make-up artist), Rebeka Mór (digital artist), Sirui Ma (photographer), Tom Blesch (photographer), William Waterworth (photographer), Yann Turchi (hairstylist), Zhong Lin (photographer), Giovanni Corabi (photographer), Jade Adeyemi (set designer), Jenny Brough (photographer), Justin French, (photographer and director), Kyle Dominic (make-up artist), Lynski (make-up artist), Olivia Lifungula (photographer), Rasaan Wyzard (stylist and photographer), Rory Mullen (artist), Sonny Molina (hairstylist), Vassilis Theotokis (make-up artist), Xavier Scott Marshall (photographer) and Yuen Hsieh (director and digital artist).
Not only were the finalists picked from all corners of the globe, they were voted for by last year’s New Wave: Creatives. Each winner of this award received a unique trophy designed by 2020 New Wave: Creative, Jabez Barlett, and produced by 3-D printing design specialist, Nagami, out of Parley Ocean Plastic.
The BFC succeeded in supporting 33 designers this year thanks to the Fashion Awards 2021. The BFC also collaborated with Bottletop’s #Togetherband campaign, in addition to continuing its alliance with the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP) to help the foundation raise awareness for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.—Riveka Thevendran
Gareth Cattermole; Joe Maher