LONDON — This year’s Fashion Awards ceremony puts the spotlight on female creatives, from Stella McCartney, to Donatella Versace, Pat McGrath and Maria Grazia Chiuri — but that wasn’t part of a grand plan.
“We are awarding really amazing people — and they happen to be women,” said Nadja Swarovski, a member of the Swarovski executive board who has been working alongside the British Fashion Council on the annual ceremony for eight years. “We are not discriminatory at all.”
The Swarovski Award for Positive Change, an accolade introduced last year that recognizes industry professionals who contribute to sustainability and culture, was given to Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri in honor of what she has achieved since taking the helm as the house’s first female artistic director.
“She has a really strong point of view, great associations with craft and the way she has expressed herself in the arena of feminism,” said Swarovski, adding that it is important to celebrate these women as role models at a time “when our governments cannot be a role model for us.”
Swarovski said she believes the Fashion Awards coincide with a moment of female empowerment.
“Women are speaking up, and that is why we chose Bianca Jagger to give the award to Maria Grazia. Bianca is a style icon, she has such a strong voice in the area of female empowerment, and she’s a humanitarian, so we are connecting the dots. I can only tell you that Bianca is very excited about what is happening, because sometimes in the past, she used to be that lonely voice out there. Because of recent events, more women will speak up and more women’s voices will be heard. That has also lead a lot of us mothers to raise our daughters differently and to raise them with self-confidence.”
She also pointed to the special recognition award Donatella Versace will be receiving during the ceremony, fashion icon. Swarovski said it celebrates her work for Versace, and highlights the supermodel era that emerged through the brand.
Swarovski also injected some feminist fun into the night, tapping one of pop culture’s most empowered women, Miss Piggy, to host the company’s red-carpet live-stream. Swarovski handpicked Miss Piggy’s outfits — for the red carpet and for the awards’ social media videos. They include the Versace palm-printed dress, to the dramatic Guo Pei yellow embroidered gown previously worn by Rihanna.
Education plays another important role in Swarovski’s activities, with a portion of the funds raised on the evening going toward the BFC’s Education Foundation. “We feel the better the students are educated, the stronger they will be as designers and these initiatives have also opened the door to help make that connection between the students and the fashion houses.”
The company plans to continue working with the British Fashion Council as a means of giving back to the industry. “We like to support the institution that supports the industry,” added Swarovski.