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The 2021 Fashion Awards took place under grim circumstances on Monday night following the news of designer Virgil Abloh’s passing on Sunday at the age of 41.

Actor Idris Elba opened the proceedings by paying tribute to Abloh, who was named one of 15 ‘leaders of change’ at the awards ceremony, accolades which were presented weeks before the ceremony and which celebrate the people who have “created a positive change within the fashion industry in the past year,” said the British Fashion Council.

Its CEO, Caroline Rush, and President, Stephanie Phair, hailed Abloh as “a creative force for change, who throughout her career has focused on inclusion and philanthropy through fashion, art , music, design and architecture, making him one of the most influential designers. of his generation ”.

Following last year’s digital-only ceremony which saw 20 people honored for their contribution to creativity, their communities and the environment, this year’s event marked the return of the ceremony to the Royal Albert Hall with the number of rewards halved from 16 to eight. since the last live event in December 2019 before the pandemic.

Following in the footsteps of the Brit Awards, which announced the removal of gender categories last week, the British Designer of the Year for Men and UK Designer of the Year for Women awards have been dropped, keeping only the designer of the year, which was won by Kim Jones for his work at Dior Mens and Fendi, where he designs women’s clothing.

Elsewhere, the model, business owner, fashion icon, accessories and awards from emerging designers were absent from the debates.

Other recipients of the evening included Simone Rocha, who won the British Independent Brand Award, and this year’s LVMH Prize winner, Nensi Dojaka, who received the BFC Foundation Award. British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, author Kenya Hunt and designers Harris Reed and Telfar Clemens were among 14 other industry figures honored in the Change Leaders lineup.

The rest of the awards were announced closer to the ceremony, which was hosted by Emmy-winning actor and singer Billie Porter. Former GQ Editor-in-Chief Dylan Jones won the Special Recognition Award for Cultural Commentary, Dazed Magazine Editor-in-Chief Ib Kamara won the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Designer Tommy Hilfiger a accepted the Outstanding Achievement Award and Gucci’s Creative Director, Alessandro. Michele won the Pioneer Award for spilling the fortune of the legendary Italian label. Michele appeared as the avatar to announce that cSapphire won the first-ever Fashion Award for Metaverse Design in conjunction with Roblox.

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