Maria Grazia Chiuri

CELEBRATING CHANGE: The British Fashion Council is shining the spotlight on female designers at this year’s Fashion Awards in London.

Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri will be the recipient of the Swarovski Award for Positive Change, in recognition of her “contribution to female empowerment in the fashion industry.”

Earlier this week, the organization said that it will also be honoring Stella McCartney with the Special Recognition Award for Innovation, a new accolade added to the ceremony’s lineup this year.

“The feminist movement that has been mine for the longest time has finally struck a resonant chord in society, and this recognition sends a powerful message to all women battling on a daily basis,” said Chiuri, who has brought the debate around feminism to the Dior runway since making her debut as the house’s artistic director.

Her T-shirts printed with messages such as “We Should All Be Feminists” and “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” – referencing essays by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Linda Nochlin – sparked endless conversations about feminism and fashion.

“With this award, Maria Grazia will be celebrated for her successful creative achievements, her contribution to female empowerment within fashion and her determination to encourage women of future generations to believe in themselves,” said Natalie Massenet, the BFC’s chairman. “The positive impact she has had on the fashion and global communities makes her a great inspiration to all of us.”

The Swarovski award, which aims to celebrate creatives who have made a positive impact on society, was presented to the late Vogue Italia editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani for the first time last year.

Chiuri added that she wants to use this recognition as an opportunity to pay tribute to the late editor.

The Fashion Awards, which run in partnership with Swarovski, are set to take place on Dec. 4 in London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Among the nominees are established names such as Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, Loewe’s Jonathan Anderson and Chiuri, who are all shortlisted for the designer of the year award, as well as new names from the London fashion scene, including the likes of Matty Bovan, Rejina Pyo and Michael Halpern, who are up for the British emerging talent in women’s wear prize.

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