Today, 21st November, the winners of the Belgian Fashion Awards were announced. The award ceremony is a unique opportunity to celebrate the wonderful Belgian fashion. Its reputation on a national and international level, its creativity and its diversity deserve a place in the spotlight. At the same time, the Belgian Fashion Awards want to celebrate those who work behind the scenes and honour lesser known names and new talent. After all, Belgian fashion is not just independent, avant-garde and no-nonsense, but often very modest. This third edition of the Belgian Fashion Awards was organised by Knack Weekend, Le Vif Weekend, Flanders DC (Flanders District of Creativity), MAD, Home of Creators and WBDM (Wallonie-Bruxelles Design Mode).
A highlight of the evening was a performance by Belgian musician Charlotte Adiguéry. The prizes were handed out by Belgian celebrities from other creative disciplines. People like Jeroen de Pessemier, Kid Noize, Tania Garbaski, Sofie Van de Velde, Wim Vanlessen and Elodie Ouédraogo & Jeroom.
The Belgian Fashion Awards took place as part of the Fashion Talks, organised by Flanders DC at the Handelsbeurs in Antwerp.
Awards were given in the following seven categories:
The Jury Prize honours the career of a Belgian designer. This prize was awarded to Dirk Van Saene, who always follows his own path and rhythm. The jury emphasises the importance of his current and past work, his creative talent and the way he translates it into fashion, painting and ceramics. As one of the Antwerp Six, he is part of an important piece of Belgian fashion history, and as teacher at the Antwerp Fashion Academy he has great impact on the Masters students and the next generation of fashion designers.
The prize for Designer of the Year is awarded to a Belgian designer who has impressed the jury with his work during the past year. This prize was awarded to Christian Wijnants. The jury praises him for staying true to his DNA in a fashion world dictated by trends. His research into materials, and knitwear in particular, remains impressive. This year, he has added shoes and a knitwear collection for men to his label. His business grows in a steady, impressive way. The nominees in this category were Carine Gilson, Caroline Bosmans, Christian Wijnants, Olivier Theyskens, Wouters & Hendrix.
The prize for Emerging Talent of the Year is awarded to a young talent or Belgian label working in Belgium with a strong concept or great creativity. The prize goes to men’s label Namacheko because the jury is impressed by the rapid international growth of this brand that moved to Antwerp in 2019. The duo Dilan and Lezar Lurr, twin brother and sister born in Iraqi Kurdistan and raised in Sweden, designed a powerful collection that is sold in top boutiques all over the world. The nominees in this category were Bernadette, Indee, Namacheko, Templa, Sarah Levy.
The prize for Professional of the Year is awarded to a Belgian professional in the fashion world, with the exception of designers, who have attracted our attention during the past 12 months. This year, the award goes to photographer Pierre Debusschere because he manages to create strong images for his clients, yet giving them his own original signature. The nominees in this category were Benoit Bethume, Pierre Debusschere, Tom Van Dorpe, uber and kosher.
The prize for Entrepreneur of the Year is awarded to a driven entrepreneur who is active in Belgian fashion and who represents a clear added value to the sector. The award goes to Sofie D’Hoore and Chantal Spaas for their extensive international success and the very organic way in which they are building a business with a double signature. The nominees in this category were Patrick Van Heurck and Frederic Vitre of Bellerose, Inge Onsea and Esfan Eghtessadi of Essentiel, Florence Cools and Artur Tadevosian of Damoy/La Collection, Sofie d’Hoore and Chantal Spaas of Sofie d’Hoore, Valérie Berckmans.
The award for Fashion Brand of the Year is a public award that only Belgian brands can apply for. Via www.belgianfashionawards.be the general public could choose their favourite from a final selection of 10 Belgian brands, carefully chosen by a professional jury. Arte, a premium men’s brand with a streetwear soul, wins this public award.
The nominees in this category were Arte, Bonjour Maurice, Façon Jacmin, Filles a Papa, Howlin, La Fille d’O, Léo, Natan, Mieke Dierckx, Snobe
The award for Most Promising Graduate goes to a recent graduate (June 2019) from one of our seven great fashion schools. This year, the jury didn’t choose a winner because they feel the seven selected finalists all deserve the title. The jury declares that they find the candidates very strong individuals who give a great overview of what our various Belgian fashion schools have to offer.
The nominees in this category were Bart Lapere, Dominique Rocour, Eve Delperdange, Maria Ossaba, Quinten Mestdagh, Samuel Quertinmont, Thurel Thonet.
UPR prize: The duo Florence Cools and Artur Tadevosian, nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year, for their label Damoy / La Collection wins a UPR subsidy of 10,000 euros worth of PR & Communication services. UPR offer national tailor-made consultancy, to be used by the winner within a year. With this prize, UPR offers a professional platform to one of the BFA nominees, irrespective of category, in whom they firmly believe.
Fashion & Lace Museum prize: Emerging Talent Namacheko. The museum buys a silhouette to include in their permanent collection.
For this third edition, we sought out a renowned external jury with an international knowledge of the sector. Big names such as Patrick Scallon, president of the jury and communications director for Dries Van Noten; designers Glenn Martens and Diane von Furstenberg, as well as Elizabeth von der Goltz of Net-à-Porter and Christopher Morency of Highsnobiety are just some of the impressive members of the jury. You will find a complete list here.
The statuettes ‘The Pattern-based Copper Mirror’ were designed by Nel Verbeke. They represent two intersecting patterns. They are made of hand-brushed copper.
From Friday 22 November all the Belgian Fashion Awards photos can be seen on www.belgianfashionawards.be
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