Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Edwina McCann with model Georgia Fowler

SYDNEYVogue Australia editor in chief Edwina McCann has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Australian Fashion Laureate Awards.

Presented at a ceremony at Sydney’s State Theatre on Thursday, the award recognizes an individual’s outstanding contribution to the Australian fashion industry.

First launched in 2008 by IMG and previously called just the Australian Fashion Laureate, the award has previously gone to designers Dion Lee, Toni Maticevski, Akira Isogawa and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia founder Simon Lock.

McCann, who is also the editorial director of the Condé Nast titles at News Corp Australia, was appointed Vogue editor in chief in 2012, 20 years after she first joined the title as fashion assistant, and after three years helming Harpers Bazaar Australia.

McCann has boosted Vogue’s digital offer and also augmented its live events program with events such as the Vogue Codes seminars.

According to Roy Morgan Research, Vogue Australia’s readership in the 12 months to September 2018 was 370,000, up 8.2 percent on 2017 and far ahead of the local editions of Marie Claire, with 267,000 readers, Harper’s Bazaar, with 152,000, InStyle, with 132,000, and Elle, with 130,000.

“I hope that this laureate can be maybe recognition of that — I believe frankly that too many publishers have been managing decline and basically threw in the towel,” said McCann. “At News [Corp] we have reinvested in the brand and with that, the business grew”.

McCann is the co-founder and former chair of the Australian Fashion Chamber, a designer representative body which last year merged with the much older Council of Textile & Fashion to create the Australian Fashion Council, of which McCann is co-chair.

Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Edwina McCann, recipient of the 2018 Australian Fashion Laureate Lifetime Achievement Award.  Tim da-Rin photography

Romance Was Born was awarded Best Australian Womenswear Designer for 2018, while Song For The Mute was named Best Australian Menswear Designer.

Albus Lumen designer Marina Afonina, who is one of four International Woolmark Prize finalists for 2018/2019, was named Best Australian Emerging Designer.

Lucy Folk and Zimmermann won Best Australian Accessories Designer and Best Australian Retailer, respectively.

The inaugural Model of The Year award went to 18 year-old Sudanese Australian Adut Akech Bior, who has just added the December 2018 cover of Vogue Australia to her Vogue cover repertoire for 2018, after previous covers for the U.K., Italian and South Korean editions.

Photographer Georges Antoni took out the new Outstanding Editorial award, while another Australian, Victoria’s Secret photographer Russell James, was named the first International Impact Honoree.

The latter award was not voted by the laureate industry panel, but decided by IMG — which reps James globally.

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