Emerging British fashion designer Richard Quinn was presented with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design on the final day of London Fashion Week.
The award has been set up in recognition of the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy, and will be presented annually by a senior member of the Royal Family, to an emerging British fashion designer of womenswear, menswear, or accessories that shows “exceptional talent and originality, whilst demonstrating value to the community and/or strong sustainable policies”.
Quinn was selected as the first recipient by British Fashion Council chief executive Caroline Rush and its ambassador for emerging talent, Sarah Mower, for his “exceptional prints” and his ability to “combine unique handcrafted skill with a refined high fashion sensibility”, as well as his creation of a print studio, which offers high quality, price accessible services to students, his peer group of emerging designers and more recently offering sampling services to more established businesses such as Burberry and JW Anderson.
The idea of the award was raised by Her Majesty’s personal advisor, Angela Kelly, who has orchestrated The Queen’s wardrobe for over 26 years, and following Her Majesty's 90th birthday celebrations, it was agreed that the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design would be created to recognise emerging British fashion talent to provide a legacy of support for the industry in recognition the role fashion has played throughout The Queen's Reign and continues to play in diplomacy, culture and communications.
Each year the British Fashion Council, in collaboration with the Royal Household, will select an emerging designer to win the award.
The inaugural award was presented by Her Majesty at London Fashion Week, who also attended Quinn’s catwalk show, which showcased his bold and emotive womenswear collection.
Queen Elizabeth II makes surprise visit to London Fashion Week
The award itself has been beautifully designed by Angela Kelly, inspired by the Queen Elizabeth rose. It was hand-made by Lucy Price at Bauhinia Studios and in Birmingham's famous jewellery quarter.
Click through the slideshow to take a look at the inauguration of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design.
Commenting on the award, Rush said: “It is an incredible honour for our industry to be granted this recognition by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. For the honour to be bestowed annually on an emerging designer, in recognition of the UK being the global centre for fashion talent is great recognition for Richard Quinn, as well as the incredible talents that have developed businesses here in the UK, and those that will follow in his footsteps.”
Mower added: “This new honour from Her Majesty is a truly historic landmark which offers encouragement for the aspirations of creative and entrepreneurial young British people for generations to come. Richard Quinn, a Londoner and alumnus of Central Saint Martins MA of the class of 2016, exemplifies the excellence of UK fashion education.
“In addition to the colourful optimism of his collections, his simultaneous setting up of his open-access print works in Peckham demonstrates a community-minded business sense which is contributing to the present and future of British fashion manufacturing. I congratulate Richard for cementing this link between fashion and British industry, and for being the first recipient of this momentous recognition.”
As well as attending Quinn’s catwalk show, Her Majesty also toured the Designer Showrooms to view the collections and met Headonism and Rock Vault designers Completedworks, DAOU, Frances Wadsworth Jones, Harvey Santos, Lily Kamper, Rachel Boston, Shimell and Madden and The Season Hats. Her Majesty was then introduced by Mower to a group of NewGen designers including Ben Cottrell, Charles Jeffrey, Grace Wales Bonner, Liam Hodges, Marta Jakubowski, Matthew Dainty, Michael Halpern, Nicholas Daley, Paula Knorr, Phoebe English, Richard Malone and Sadie Williams.
Images: courtesy of BFC by Getty Images - photographers: Tristan Fewings, Tim Whitby and Rebecca Lewis