Nensi Dojaka, Maximilian Davis for Ferragamo, Erdem Moralıoğlu for Erdem, Simone Rocha and Roksanda Ilincic for Roksanda are nominated for British Womenswear Designer of the year at the 2023 Fashion Awards, the British Fashion Council (BFC) announced today. Grace Wales Bonner, Martine Rose, Kim Jones for Dior Men, Steven Stokey Daley for SS Daley and Kiko Kostadinov are nominated for British Menswear Designer of the Year.
British Womenswear Designer of the Year nominee Nensi Dojaka. Photo: Courtesy of Nensi Dojaka
The Fashion Awards, founded to generate funds for the BFC Foundation, will take place on 4 December at The Royal Albert Hall in London. The BFC Foundation provides funding and business mentoring for emerging UK-based brands. From 2019-2022 it secured around £8 million in funding to cultivate British fashion talent.
This year, the BFC is reinstating the New Establishment Award, which was originally launched in 2011 and “celebrates a designer who has created a new movement in British fashion while having a sustained impact on the industry globally”, according to BFC chief executive Caroline Rush.
Nominees in the menswear category of the New Establishment Award include Clint419, founder of underground streetwear label Corteiz, Bianca Saunders, Foday Dumbuya of Labrum, Nicholas Daley and Saul Nash. Womenswear nominees are London-based ready-to-wear designers Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena of Chopova Lowena, Dilara Fındıkoğlu, Alexandre Arsenault and Charlotte Knowles for Knwls, Supriya Lele and couture designer Robert Wun.
2023 felt like the perfect time to reinstate this award and spotlight homegrown talent, says Rush. “It’s important to us that the awards showcase and celebrate designers and brands at all stages of business.”
Alton Mason, Paloma Elsesser, Kai-Isaiah Jamal, Anok Yai, Mona Tougaard and Liu Wen are nominated for Model of the Year. It’s the most diverse lineup the award has seen and the first time Jamal, Tougaard and Wen have been nominated. American model Bella Hadid won the award in 2021 and 2022.
The BFC implemented a two-stage voting system for 2023 to ensure the Fashion Awards are “reflective of our incredibly multifaceted industry and the creatives who work within it”, Rush says. Newly introduced voting panels shortlisted the nominees for all the awards announced today. The panel for the designer categories included Browns buying director Ida Petersson, Tank magazine’s chief exec and fashion director Caroline Issa, and Bosse Myhr, director of womenswear and menswear at Selfridges. The voting panel for Model of the Year included casting directors Anita Bitton and Samuel Ellis Scheinman, and stylist Carlos Nazario. The nominees will now be presented to the voting committee of over 1,000 industry members to pick the winners.
“We all need to work together to make the industry and the world more inclusive — a value I strongly believe in,” says Tougaard. “The diverse group of nominees shows how far our industry has come, even though there’s more progress to be made.”
“This one is such an honour,” says Jamal. “When I run my finger down this list I am not only proud of myself but every individual on it. I think the last few years have brought up many different poignant and vital conversations about access and levels of privilege and asked us all to question who, how and why we platform certain individuals,” they say. “That little black trans kid from the depths of south London, who grew up on the fringes of society, didn’t [used to] make lists like this.”
Alongside the awards announced today, the 2023 accolades will include Designer of the Year, the BFC Foundation Award, the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator, the Outstanding Achievement Award and Leader of Change. Additionally, the event will recognise 50 innovative young creative talents from around the world as part of New Wave: Creatives. Beauty brand founder Charlotte Tilbury and Vogue chief critic, BFC ambassador for emerging talent and chair of the Newgen committee Sarah Mower will both be honoured with special recognition awards.
Photos: Supriya Lele (Will Grundy), Erdem Moralıoğlu (Tom Mannion), Nicholas Daley (Ollie Adegboye), Martine Rose (Andreas Larsson), Saul Nash (Ewen Spencer), Maximilian Davis (Rafael Pavarotti), Kim Jones (Nikolai Von Bismarck), Paloma Elsesser (Ricky Alvarez). All other photos courtesy of the BFC.