British Fashion Awards 2021

Gabriela Hearst Named Leader of Change at the British Fashion Awards

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A new category at fashion's biggest awards ceremony champions the industry's changemakers

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Since being appointed creative director of Chloé last year, Gabriela Hearst has dramatically strengthened the brand’s sustainability credits. Now, all her hard work has been recognised at the British Fashion Awards, in which she was the recipient of one of the inaugural Leaders of Change Awards.

The biggest awards ceremony in fashion returned to London’s Royal Albert Hall last night following 2020’s digital-only offering. Hosted by Billy Porter, the ceremony was a celebration of all that has been achieved throughout the pandemic era. A new category for this year was Leaders of Change, which saw 15 designers and creatives acknowledged for their commitment to making the fashion industry a better place. The award was split into three categories: Environment, People and Creativity, with Hearst featuring in the Environment sector alongside the likes of Stella McCartney, Phoebe English and Priya Ahluwaliya. Vogue editor Edward Enninful, meanwhile, received an award in the People category.

British Fashion Awards

By Darren Gerrish, British Fashion Council

The evening, however, had a sombre atmosphere, taking place just a day after designer Virgil Abloh passed away after a two-year battle with cancer. The night began with a tribute to the designer from Idris Elba, who said: ‘We have lost an icon,’ before reading a poem by Maya Angelou. Abloh, who founded the Off-White fashion label and was the first African-American to head up Louis Vuitton, was also named a Leader of Change in the People category.

British Fashion Council Awards

Image by Darren Gerrish, British Fashion Council

Across other categories, winners included Albanian womenswear designer Nensi Dojaka, who was given the British Fashion Council Foundation Award. Kim Jones was named Designer of the Year for his work on menswear at Dior and womenswear at Fendi, while the Independent British Designer award went to Simone Rocha.

Main image: Bertie Watson, British Fashion Council

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