By  on November 21, 2006

LONDON — Bottega Veneta scooped the new award for international luxury brand at the annual Walpole Awards Night on Monday.

Walpole is Britain's answer to France's Comité Colbert and Italy's Altagamma. It's a not-for-profit organization that aims to protect and promote British luxury brands at home and abroad.

Bottega Veneta was competing against Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren and Harry Winston, and each was judged on the international impact of its service, sales and brand exposure in 2006.

"It was a compliment to be in a category with all of them, and I'm surprised we won," said Bottega Veneta creative director Tomas Maier in a telephone interview from Miami. "England is a very important market for Bottega Veneta, we have a real following there, and all the product categories do very well. I can't wait to get back there."

Patrizio Di Marco, Bottega Veneta's chief executive officer, was in London to accept the award.

Other winners during the ceremony held at Banqueting House, Whitehall, near the Houses of Parliament, were Christopher Bailey for British creative talent, Bamford & Sons for best emerging British brand and Dyson, the vacuum-cleaner brand, for British excellence overseas. Dyson topped Graff, Harvey Nichols, Alfred Dunhill and The Economist in that category.

Cole & Son, a maker of woodcut-based wallpaper and fabrics, won for best British luxury brand — beating Kate Moss, Stella McCartney and Mulberry. Walpole also looks outside the fashion and luxury goods industries for its candidates. The Royal Shakespeare Company won the award for British cultural excellence, while Jane Tomlinson, a terminally ill marathon runner, won for British sporting excellence.

Judges included Theo Fennell, Nick Foulkes, Charles March, Stephen Fry, and Annoushka Ducas and John Ayton.

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