Backstage at Balmain RTW Fall 2019

LONDON – Sam McKnight, a hair styling pioneer who has worked for decades with brands, media titles and celebrities worldwide, will receive the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the Fashion Awards 2019 in London.

McKnight will be honored for his “invaluable contribution to the fashion industry, his remarkable effort in changing the role of the session stylist within fashion and for his unique ability to create modern and glamorous looks,” the British Fashion Council said.

The awards take place Monday Dec. 2 at Royal Albert Hall.

McKnight’s fashion career spans nearly 50 years and encompasses catwalks, editorial and advertising campaigns for brands including Balmain, Burberry, Chanel, Fendi, Tom Ford and Vivienne Westwood. He has also worked with royals and celebrities including Cate Blanchett, Emilia Clarke, Kate Moss, Princess Diana and Uma Thurman.

Caroline Rush, chief executive officer of the BFC, called McKnight “one of the most important image makers of our time, hugely respected within the fashion community and a source of inspiration for many generations to come. We look forward to celebrating with him and his friends in London in December.”

Originally from Scotland, McKnight moved to London in the early Seventies where he initially worked for Molton Brown, having originally trained as a teacher. He soon gave up salon work to do shoots and shows.

The late editor Liz Tilberis and the stylist Lucinda Chambers were among the first to work with him. He did his first editorial shoot with British Vogue in 1977, and has since styled models’ and celebrities’ hair for more than 100 covers.

In 2016, Somerset House in London launched “Hair by Sam McKnight,” an exhibition based on his career. His first book, Hair by Sam McKnight (Rizzoli), an anthology of magazine covers, editorial shoots and personal insights into working at the heart of the fashion industry, followed later that year.

The Isabella Blow award recognizes innovators and creatives in fashion. Previous winners include Mert & Marcus, Pat McGrath, Nick Knight, Edward Enninful, Lady Amanda Harlech and Professor Louise Wilson.

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