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.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast