Thursday, 17 November 2011

Celebrating the Best of the UK Fashion Industry

At the Oscars of the fashion industry the winners of the 21st Drapers Fashion Awards were announced last night at Grosvenor House, London.

The stylish event, presented by Strictly Come Dancing’s Tess Daly, was attended by key industry figures and celebrities to celebrate and commend the very best in fashion. Blogger Bip Ling, Eastenders stars Meryl Fernandes and Marc Elliot,Made In Chelsea's Mille Mackintosh and TOWIE girls Frankie Essex, Lydia Bright, Cara Kilbey and Billi Mucklow all turned up to help celebrate!

It was a night of double celebrations for two lucky companies; the St Albans boutique The Dressing Room scooped two awards – Womenswear Retailer of the Year and Independent Retailer of the Year and retailer White Stuff walked off with awards for Best New Store or Department for their George Street store in Edinburgh, as well as the Best Shopper Experience Award.

And continuing the double theme, award for Smaller Etailer of the Year went for the second year in a row to specialist A Suit That Fits. Set up by two school friends, Warren Bennett and David Hathiramani, A Suit That Fits offers customers the flexibility to design individually hand-tailored suits and shirts over the internet or in a branch at affordable prices.

Best New Business was awarded to independent retailer Garment Quarter, which opened its doors for the first time in October 2010 in Bristol. The store is a new and innovative fashion boutique, which brings together luxury designers and one off pieces from the catwalk.

Other independents receiving awards include Fallen Hero in Scunthorpe for Young Fashion Retailer of the Year and HUB in Stoke Newington for Best Menswear Retailer of the Year - with elements of a Gentlemen’s outfitters and the ease and comfort of an old drawing room, the boutique is a place for customers to relax and ponder over clothing choices.

Established brands Diesel, Farah Vintage and Fred Perry were all recognised for their on-going contributions to the UK fashion scene with accolades for Marketing Initiative of the Year, Young Fashion Brand of the Year and Menswear Brand of the Year awarded respectively.

Chairman of the British Retail Consortium Rob Templeman received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The former Debenham’s Chief Executive was recognised for his valuable input and insight into the UK retail scene.

This year the Outstanding Contribution Award was presented to the much loved and revered fashion journalist Hilary Alexander in recognition of her unparalleled passion for reporting and commentating on the industry.

“The Drapers Fashion Awards recognised and celebrated a diverse mix of businesses from high street chains, to department stores to boutiques and brands. What they all share is a bold and brave attitude to selling fashion in today’s changing climate. All have recorded strong success in the last 12 months proving that they are leaders within the fashion sector and a role model for others.” Commented Caroline Nodder, Editor-in-chief of Drapers.

2011 marks 21 years of the prestigious awards, recognising the achievements of businesses as diverse as independent boutiques, high street chains, innovative etailers, best-selling brands and inspirational collections. 21 awards were presented on the night; the full list of winners is as follows:

Best New Business of the Year sponsored by Success Appointments; Garment Quarter
Marketing Initiative of the Year sponsored by Global Blue; Diesel
Growing Retailer of the Year; Hallett Retail – The Concessions People
Young Fashion Retailer of the Year sponsored by Quiksilver; Fallen Hero, Scunthorpe
Lingerie Retailer of the Year sponsored by Panache; John Lewis
Short Order/Quick Response Brand of the Year sponsored by Hallett Retail; Lazy Oaf
Young Fashion Brand of the Year; Fred Perry
Best New Store or Department of the Year; White Stuff, George Street, Edinburgh
Smaller Etailer of the Year; A Suit That Fits
Larger Etailer of the Year sponsored by Paypal; ASOS
Best Value Retailer; Primark
Menswear Brand of the Year; sponsored by Stitch, Farah Vintage
Womenswear Brand of the Year; Darling
Menswear Retailer of the Year sponsored by Tommy Hilfiger; HUB, Stoke Newington, London
Womenswear Retailer of the Year; The Dressing Room, St Albans
Best Shopper Experience; sponsored by Torque Logistics; White Stuff
High Street Retailer of the Year sponsored by Clipper Logistics; Warehouse
Independent Retailer of the Year; The Dressing Room, St Albans
Department Store of the Year; Harrods
Outstanding Contribution; Hilary Alexander
Drapers Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by The Ashton Partnership; Rob Templeman

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