The British Fashion Awards pay tribute to Virgil Abloh

The London ceremony was held Monday evening, the day after the announcement of the disappearance of the American designer. Tributes followed.

The annual British Fashion Council (BFC) awards ceremony presented its trophies to several big names in the industry on Monday evening. That of Virgil Abloh, artistic director of the Louis Vuitton house who died on Sunday, has been cited many times.

The 2021 edition, which took place at the Royal Albert Hall in London, saw Kim Jones win the “designer of the year” award, for Dior Men and Fendi, and Tommy Hilfiger being awarded the “outstanding achievement “. The British designer Stella McCartney and the editor of vogue Britain’s Edward Enninful are among 15 people recognized as “leaders of change” in the sector. But the event was clouded by the disappearance of Virgil Abloh, disappeared on Sunday at the age of 41 after battling cancer for several years.

“The true embodiment of creativity”

A pioneer of menswear at Louis Vuitton, and the first black artistic director of a major French luxury brand, he was also named a “leader of change” and was the subject of praise throughout the evening. A minute of silence was observed at the start of the ceremony.

“Virgil Abloh was the true embodiment of creativity,” BFC said in its statement after the awards ceremony. “With Off-White, Abloh reimagined what fashion design means, and at Louis Vuitton Men, he not only made luxury culturally identifiable, he made it culture,” the organization added. .

Several personalities spoke during the evening to pay tribute to the artistic director. “Virgil was an inspiration, and it’s our responsibility to honor and shine a light on all the loving moments he brought to this industry,” the actor said. Billy Porteras reported Vogue UK. The British comedian Idris Elba also hailed his memory: “I lost a friend, his wife lost a husband, the fashion industry lost a legend and the world lost a unique human being”, he declared before to recite a poem by Maya Angelou, When Great Trees Fallas reported People.

“Lead by example”

Edward Enninful also took advantage of his time on stage to pay tribute to him: “The shock of his passing is as fresh as it is devastating. As a leader of change, the impact of his work must be underlined”, said he said before reading an excerpt written by Virgil Abloh himself, to accompany his men’s Louis Vuitton show last summer:

“As a black man in a French luxury house, I am very aware of my responsibilities. Rather than lecturing, I hope to lead by example, and open doors for future generations.”

The nominees and winners were elected by an international jury of more than 1,000 people made up of experts in the sector. Two general awards and four “special recognition awards” were presented alongside the 15 “leaders of change” awards.

For the first time this year, the BFC unveiled an award for “Metaverse Design” which “recognizes a digital designer who pushes boundaries and showcases excellence (…) in digital fashion in the metaverse” .

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