The London Coliseum played host to the UK’s most stylish prize giving this month, as the British Fashion Council announced the winners of the 2013 British Fashion Awards. UAL staff, alumni and governors were in the running for 14 awards and the event on 2 December saw the University’s contingent walk away with five prizes, including the prestigious title of Womenswear Designer of the Year.
Established in 1989, the British Fashion Awards celebrate the contributions of British designers, creatives and models to the international fashion scene. For the 2013 awards the nominees include UAL Governor Anya Hindmarch, CSM MA Fashion alumni Marques’ Almeida, Simone Rocha, Thomas Tait, Christopher Shannon and Craig Green, Mary Katrantzou, Kim Jones, Christopher Kane, Phoebe Philo, and BA Fashion alumna and UAL Honorary Fellow Sarah Burton, as well as LCF alumnus J.W. Anderson and CSM and Cordwainers graduate Nicholas Kirkwood.
Christopher Kane, who studied both his BA and MA in fashion at Central Saint Martins, went home with the prestigious title of Womenswear Designer of the Year. It has been a triumphant year for the London-based brand, and the award recognises the designer’s instrumental role in developing women’s fashion. Already one of the most talented and innovative British designers, the success of Kane’s two ready-to-wear collections at London Fashion Week secured his reputation.
Simone Rocha, who studied for her fashion MA at Central Saint Martins, was named Emerging Womenswear Designer. She’s described by the BFC as “fast becoming one of the hottest tickets at London Fashion Week”.
The award for Accessory Designer of the Year went to Nicholas Kirkwood, who did his foundation course at Central Saint Martins before graduating from BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear: Product Design and Innovation at London College of Fashion in 2001. Kirkwood’s impressive international business won the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund award this year, followed by the opening of a flagship store in Las Vegas and the launch of both a pre-collection and menswear line. Kirkwood’s iconic footwear recently gained investment from luxury goods group LVMH and is stocked internationally by over 150 retailers. This is the third time he has been named Accessory Designer of the Year. Kirkwood recently visited LCF as part of the college’s Inside the Industry series.
Sophia Webster, LCF BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear: Product Design and Innovation 2008, won Emerging Accessories Designer 2013 “in recognition of her footwear label’s impressive ascent to a flourishing designer business.”
JW Anderson, LCF BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Menswear 2005 graduate, won the New Establishment 2013 prize, announcing him as a designer that is “taking the industry by storm”, with the BFC stating that he has “risen to the forefront of the international spotlight this year”. The New Establishment prize “celebrates London’s unique talents as they transition from emerging talent to brand whilst taking the industry by storm. J.W. Anderson’s uncompromising vision for originality has gained him traction with a global audience. This award commends Anderson’s increasing stature on the international stage and ability to define the future of the fashion industry.”