The Fashion Awards 2018

Last night, at The Royal Albert Hall, industry leaders came together to celebrate the past year of fashion. Whilst acceptance speeches featured topics such as the importance of home grown talent and Vivienne Westwood’s masterplan to save the world, honourees were presented with a statue designed by David Adjaye. Below, we’ve highlighted the careers of some of the key winners and why they have taken home the prestigious award.

Accessories Designer of the Year
Winner: Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga
After rising through the ranks at Louis Vuitton and Maison Martin Margiela, Gvasalia cemented his royalty fashion status when it was announced in 2015 that the Georgian designer would take over as artistic director of Balenciaga. He has gone from strength to strength and retained his role as head designer of the heavily talked about millennial brand, Vetements. Francçois-Henri Pinault, president and chief executive of Kering, praised the designer as "a powerful emerging force in today's creative world."

British Designer of the Year Menswear
Winner: Craig Green for Craig Green
Since first showing at London Collections: Men in 2013, Green has been a constant name at the top of the industry. His designs have been featured in a range of exhibitions whilst his accolades include winning this award for the previous two years, the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund prize 2016 and Emerging Menswear Designer at the British Fashion Awards 2014. Tim Blanks, the widely respected fashion critic described Green as, “fearless in his idealism. His clothes are grand gestures, but they're poetic and romantic too. People sobbed at his spring (2015) show. Fashion craves that emotion.”

Business Leader
Winner: Marco Bizzarri for Gucci
Probably the most respected and successful operator in fashion business, Bizzari is the president and chief executive of Kering-owned brand, Gucci. Bizzari first joined Kering in 2005, where he oversaw the operations at Stella McCartney, before taking on a new role as chief executive of Bottega Veneta in 2009. During his tenure here, he took revenues from €400m to €1.3bn in 2014. In 2015, Bizzari moved to Gucci and immediately made Alessandro Michele creative director of the Italian fashion house. Under his leadership, alongside Michele’s new vision, the house found improved success and reported a 44% first half revenue increase in 2018.

Designer of the Year
Winner: Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino
Pierpaolo Piccioli has overseen Valentino’s creative direction for over eight years, alongside creative partner Maria Grazia Chiuri, who left his side in 2016 to join Christian Dior. During their time at the helm, they increased revenues to over €1b and revamped the diffusion line, Red Valentino. Alumni of Rome’s Istituto Europeo di Design, Piccioli first met Chiuri through mutual friends. In 1989 he began working alongside her at Fendi, in their accessories department. The pair moved to Valentino in 1999 where they would eventually oversee the entire accessories department, before succeeding Alessandra Facchinetti as co-creative directors. It’s now great to see Piccioli flourishing without his long-time partner by his side.

2018 Trailblazer Award
Winner: Kim Jones
Kim Jones has had a heavily celebrated career; after working at several high-profile brands, including three-year tenure as creative director at Dunhill and stints at McQueen, Mulberry and Hugo Boss, Jones was appointed as style director of Louis Vuitton. Rising through the ranks, Jones soon became menswear artistic director of the French house and revolutionised the house’s offering with distinctive, streetwear-esque designs. In March, Jones left then luxury brand to join Dior Homme as artistic director, where he has received rave reviews. He has previously received numerous awards including ‘Menswear Designer of the Year’ by the British Fashion Council in 2009 and 2011 and two successive ‘Topshop New Generation’ awards.

Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator
Winner Mert & Marcus
Mart Alas and Marcus Piggott, known as Mert & Marcus, are esteemed photographers who were coincidentally both born in 1971. At the time that they met in 1994, Piggott was a photographer’s assistant and Alas was a fashion model however their joint abilities were clear from the start. Since their first cover at Dazed & Confused, the duo have worked for various international Vogue editions, Vanity Fair, W Magazine and i-D, among many other titles. Their commercial clients include Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Versace, Missoni, Giorgio Armani, Roberto Cavalli , Fendi, Kenzo, MAC and Miu Miu . Their work is powerful and instantly recognisable.

Special Recognition Award for Innovation
Winner: Parley for the Oceans
Parley for the Oceans are a non-profit organisation, founded by Cryrill Gutsch in 2012 to fight against the destruction of the world’s oceans as a result of plastic pollution. Since their birth they have gone from strength to strength and partnered exclusively with the likes of Adidas, G-Star Raw, Net-a-Porter's Porter magazine and Stella McCartney, with vocal advocates in models like Juana Burga and Anja Rubik. They are one of the most sought-after collaborations on the market with Gutsch claiming, "Parley has to date over 700 company requests and are very selective and very precise in picking the ones we feel could become ocean champions,".

Congratulations to all the winners for their incredible achievements throughout that year; a great way to close 2018. Bring on next year!

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