Dame Natalie Massenet returned to her “hometown” of Los Angeles on Tuesday (she’s a former Los Angeles-based WWD staffer) to announce the nominees of the British Fashion Council’s re-branded annual event, The Fashion Awards 2016 in partnership with Swarovski, which takes place in London Dec. 5. The new locale represents the shift toward honoring members of the international fashion community, as well as Massenet’s ambitions to grow the event’s profile on par with another famous awards show.
“I thought back to those Academy Awards nominations breakfasts, and I hope that in five year’s time people will be waiting breathlessly by their telephone or television screen to hear their name called,” she said in the garden of Soho House West Hollywood.
After BFC chief executive officer Caroline Rush announced the nominees with an introduction by Karlie Kloss, Massenet said, “What better place to celebrate international fashion than in L.A., where fashion comes to thrive? Also we just love being here and we hope to repeat this in the future.”
“I have to agree with you,” Kloss said. “L.A. surprisingly has an incredibly international fashion crowd. And as an American who has attended the BFC’s awards the last few years, I can say it’s a night not to be missed regardless of your nationality.”
When asked if she’s ever consider holding the awards in another city, Rush said, “Never say never. We certainly want to cultivate more events like this one and more announcements in other cities. L.A. is one of our most engaged social audiences.”
With regards to her next move now that her Net-a-porter non-compete agreement is expired, Massenet said, “I have two start-ups under my belt already, but I can’t reveal what they are yet.” She said she plans to make an announcement “soon” about the nature of her new company Imaginary Ventures, which she formed last year. “I’m interested in technology, fashion, retail and emerging talent. So I hope to be able to tackle all of that in the next few years.”