The pandemic may have put paid to glitzy red carpets and show-stopping live performances, but that hasn’t stopped the British Fashion Council from celebrating the industry’s heaviest hitters in 2020. Having already spotlighted the 50 emerging creatives to watch, tonight, the prestigious Fashion Awards, usually held at London’s Royal Albert Hall, went virtual, and – much like the digital shows of London Fashion Week – was made available for those outside of the industry to watch, too.
Rather than repeating its annual format, 2020’s awards saw its hosts, including Millie Bobby Brown, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Rosalía, champion the designers, brands, and individuals who paved the way for progress in what has been an uncertain and troubling time for the industry. From adapting business models to supporting key workers, via fighting for equity and against prejudice in the face of Black Lives Matter movements this summer, 20 honourees were recognised in a 30-minute film under the pillars of environment, community, people and creativity.
“This year, under unique circumstances, we felt it was important to recognise the people and businesses who played a role in some of the most important and challenging issues of our generation and champion those who raised the bar in areas such as diversity, sustainability and community,” British Fashion Council CEO Caroline Rush said in a statement ahead of the 2020 Fashion Awards.
So, who made the fashion industry a better place this year? The Emergency Designer Network, founded by Phoebe English, Holly Fulton, and Bethany Williams, took home the community accolade for its work in harnessing the power of London’s creative efforts to produce 50k surgical gowns and 10k scrubs for British health workers. A Sai Ta‘s Actively Standing Against Injustice campaign and charitable work in dismantling systemic racism within the industry, and Michael Halpern‘s joyful celebration of 8 frontline workers in lieu of a digital show, also won them the award.
UNSPECIFIED – DECEMBER 01: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been shot in black and white. Colour version not available.) In this screen grab released on December 3, Lindsay Wagner, of Black In Fashion Council during The Fashion Awards 2020 on December 01, 2020. Due to COVID-19 and the global pandemic, The Fashion Awards 2020 celebrates designers, brands, creatives, and individuals who have lead change during this time. The Fashion Awards Digital Premiere will be streamed via fashionawards.com on Thursday, December 3, 2020, at 7PM. (Photo by Misan Harriman/BFC/Getty Images for BFC)
Lewis Hamilton presented the recipients of the people category, those who create “equal, diverse and empowered workforces from head office and supply chain to shop floor.” British Vogue‘s Edward Enninful was awarded first, with The Crown‘s Emma Corrin sending a virtual message of gratitude for the progress and positivity Enninful has injected at both the title and within the industry at large. Agents of change in holding the industry to account, Lindsay Peoples Wagner and Sandrine Charles also won the award for their work in founding the innovative