LONDON — No red carpet will roll out at the Royal Albert Hall this winter as the British Fashion Council annual Fashion Awards are going digital.
In line with government restrictions for large-scale events in the U.K., the BFC will announce Thursday that its awards ceremony will take place online.
The event is set to take place on Dec. 3 in the form of a short film announcing the 2020 winners and capturing the “extraordinary year” the fashion industry has faced.
The organization is also taking a new approach to the awards it plans to hand out.
The BFC won’t be handing out awards in the usual categories — such as brand of the year, accessories designer and best British women’s wear designer.
Instead, the focus will be on recognizing 20 individuals and brands that have shown resilience and come up with proactive responses to the challenges of the pandemic; undertaken humanitarian efforts; fought against industry prejudices, and helped to spearhead positive change.
The brands and creative individuals will be handed the “2020 Fashion Award” on Dec. 3.
A new list of New Wave: Creatives will also be released in conjunction with the digital event, highlighting the most promising young talent across a range of industry sectors.
“Fashion has probably been changed forever and businesses and designers have had to adapt to a new reality. It is more important than ever to recognize those in the fashion industry who played an important role in this extraordinary year, proving the compassion and resilience of our industry. This is what the Fashion Awards 2020 have set to do, by spotlighting those who have shown leadership and creative resilience over the past year,” said BFC chair Stephanie Phair.
The BFC’s chief executive officer Caroline Rush added that the decision to shift the event’s direction and to spotlight industry change makers is a response to the changed fashion landscape and the industry’s “need of a reset.”
She added that it’s “important to recognize…those who raised the bar in areas such as diversity, sustainability and community.”
The BFC will return to the Royal Albert Hall 2021, with the awards scheduled to take place on Nov. 29 of next year. The organization said the ceremony would be “reimagined” and would have technology and engagement at its heart.
Swarovski will no longer be the main partner of the event, but will continue to work with the BFC in another capacity. The BFC said it is looking to work with a “new principal partner” and well as “official partners” for the 2021 event.
The event will continue to act as a fundraiser for the BFC Foundation and support the pipeline of emerging talent.