British Fashion Council has released the names of the nine nominees vying for the BFC Changemakers Prize. Swarovski partnered with BFC on the new project aimed at discovering and celebrating the unsung heroes of the fashion industry. Three winners will be revealed on September 2nd and will receive a £7500 cash prize as well as a mentoring package.
Launched earlier this year, the prize received over 500 applications. A panel of judges made up of high-profile individuals within the industry selected the nine finalists. The Judging Committee was led by BFC Chief Executive Caroline Rush and Swarovski Creative Director Giovanna Engelbert. Other judges on the panelinclude Edward Enninful, Editor-In-Chief, British Vogue & European Editorial Director, Vogue; Farrah Storr, Editor-In-Chief, ELLE UK; Ib Kamara, Editor-In-Chief, Dazed, Jo Ellison, Editor, How to Spend It & Deputy Editor, FT Weekend; Lily Cole, Model & Activist; Munroe Bergdorf, Model & Activist, and Tan France, Fashion Television Personality.
The nominees were selected to represent the breadth of the behind the scenes talent in the fashion industry, from dress-makers to hair-makers, image-makers, lace-makers, eco-makers, etc. The prize was open to anyone working in the fashion industry, focusing on celebrating individuals and championing inclusivity and innovative thinking. The three pillars of the BFC’s Institute of Positive Fashion include: Environment, People or Craftsmanship, and Community.
Here’s some background on each of the nominees, under their respective prize categories.
John Hickling/ Craft-maker Nominee
John is the founder of Glass Onion in South Yorkshire, a vintage and remade clothing provider to the Highstreet who have recently launched a DTC website. Sorting and grading fifteen tons of used clothing each week, they are growing a factory that only ‘remakes’ vintage clothing – cutting, sewing and remaking 12,000 remade pieces per month.
Natalie Glaze and Zanna Van Dijk/ Eco-maker Nominees
Co-founders of Stay Wild Swim – A sustainable essentials and swimwear brand creating products from ocean plastic – the pair have developed the world’s first fully circular swimsuit and created ‘The Circularity Project’. The project accepts broken and unwearable swimwear and then sends it on to be recycled and repurposed into eco-industrial products.
Patrick McDowell/ Dress-maker Nominee
Patrick is an innovative young designer making great strides with his eponymous label and as Sustainability Design Director for Pinko fashion house. In addition, as Global Ambassador for the Graduate Fashion Foundation, he works with mentees at the foundation and institutions across the UK to explore more sustainable methods of working with a holistic approach.
People or Craftsmanship
Cyndia Harvey/ Hair-maker Nominee
As one of the most exciting hairstylists of her generation, Cyndia has a unique vision for inclusive beauty, aiming to represent the entire spectrum of beauty and utilize her skills to fight for the visibility of underrepresented groups of society. A champion of Black women and Black hair, she created the powerful, thought-provoking film ‘This Hair of Mine’, 2017.
Laura Johnson & Zoe Proctor/ Image-maker Nominees
Leading the “inclusion revolution”, Laura and Zoe set up Zebedee Talent Agency, the first and only of its kind, representing models with disabilities and visible differences and hoping to change attitudes, creating a more inclusive industry. The agency has since expanded to represent other marginalized groups on its books, such as visibly different people, transgender and non-binary people.
Rahemur Rahman/ Image-maker Nominee
Designer, filmmaker and campaigner, Rahemur focuses on representing the British Bangladeshi communities in London and transgender rights in Bangladesh through teaching and community outreach. Rahemur Rahman Ltd launched in 2019 to highlight artisanal textile and cultural references from South Asia and the UK, aiming to decolonize craftmanship through fashion design and creating spaces for underrepresented voices in luxury fashion.
Community & Craftsmanship
Andrew Kenny/ Thread-maker Nominee
Owner of The London Embroidery Studio in East London, Andrew uses traditional skills to generate new exciting techniques with cutting edge embroidery machines. Marrying new technology with the exportation of new techniques is at the heart of his creative strategy, developing embroidery for large and small fashion, interior, film and TV clients worldwide. This is alongside offering courses to the local community, often with discounts for disadvantaged members/those on a low income.
Cozette McCreery/ Community-maker Nominee
Cozette is a connector and brand ambassador at Iceberg. An integral member of the Emergency Designer Network, researching, funding and bringing together designers and technicians across the industry to make PPE for the NHS for COVID, Cozette worked with the likes of YNAP and Matches Fashion to support the logistics for this project.
Daisy Knatchbull/ Stitch-maker Nominee
Founder of The Deck London – the first-ever solely-female shop front in Saville Row history. The Deck is a tailoring house for women and by women. Daisy is paving the way for more female tailors and those who want to break barriers.
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