Virgil Abloh Honoured at Fashion Awards

The British Fashion Council’s annual awards gala took place at London’s Royal Albert Hall against a sombre backdrop Monday, as the industry remembered visionary designer Virgil Abloh.

The ceremony, which was hosted by American actor Billy Porter, opened with a tribute to Abloh by British actor Idris Elba, who recited a poem by Maya Angelou in the late designer’s honour. The Off-White founder and Louis Vuitton artistic director passed away on Sunday at the age of 41 after battling a rare form of cancer for several years.

“The fashion industry lost an icon and the world lost a very, very special human being,” said Elba, who was invited by Anna Wintour and Edward Enninful to pay tribute to the designer’s life.

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Abloh’s presence loomed large throughout the evening, which drew a star-studded crowd despite mounting concerns about a resurgence of Covid-19. Guests including Wintour, Rick Owens and Kim Jones mingled with musicians Dua Lipa and Kehlani on the red carpet as the Fashion Awards returned to an in-person format for the first time since 2019.

Interviewed as guests arrived at the gala, Billy Porter noted this year’s awards honour designers and personalities “at the intersection of fashion and culture.”

Kim Jones was named Designer of the Year for Dior Men and Fendi, and Simone Rocha was recognised with the Independent British Designer Award.

Tommy Hilfiger picked up the Outstanding Achievement Award, while Dazed editor in chief Ib Kamara won the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator, and the Trailblazer Award went to Alessandro Michele for his role in “positioning Gucci at the intersection of culture, art, music and film,” according to a British Fashion Council statement.

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In a sign of fashion’s increasing embrace of digital fashion, the BFC introduced a new award for Metaverse design, which went to Roblox clothing designer cSapphire. Elsewhere, the Fashion Awards recognised 50 young creatives from around the world across multiple disciplines including fashion, photography, make-up and art.

See the full list of winners below:

Designer of the Year Award: Kim Jones

BFC Foundation Award: Nensi Dojaka

Independent British Brand: Simone Rocha

Isabella Blow Award: Ib Kamara

Trailblazer Award: Alessandro Michele

Special Recognition for Culture Commentary: Dylan Jones

Outstanding Achievement Award: Tommy Hilfiger

Leaders of Change, Winners:

Environment: Priya Ahluwalia, Bethany Williams, Gabriela Hearst, Phoebe English and Stella McCartney

Creativity: Virgil Abloh, Alessandro Michele, Demna Gvasalia, Kim Jones and Jonathan Anderson

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People: Edward Enninful, Harris Reed, Samuel Ross, Telfar Clemens and Kenya Hunt

Fashion Award for Metaverse Design: cSapphire

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