It has recently been announced that the British designer will be awarded the first Special Recognition Award for Innovation during the prestigious British Fashion Awards ceremony, that is set to take place on December 4th at the Royal Albert Hall.
Stella McCartney does not use fur in her designs. Nor real leather. Nor any animal-issued textiles, for that matter. Although this animals-rights initiative has been a leading trend these past few months in the fashion-sphere (with Gucci announcing a total fur ban in ready-to-wear as of 2018), it can be said of McCartney that her efforts spearheaded others in this direction. Natalie Massenet, the British Fashion Council’s chairman, even told online magazine WWD that she considered the former to be a “fashion pioneer”.
Throughout the 17 years since the creation of her eponymous brand, Stella McCartney has never failed to display her ethical activism, turning it into one of the key distinctions to which her label is associated. Not only is it 100% vegetarian, but her efforts regarding the environment are equally stellar. The brand has partnerships with recycling companies such as Econyl, which uses an unprecedented regenerative technology to make a virgin quality recycled nylon. It also works with a biotech company that instigates fibres from proteins found in nature, to create luxury sustainable textiles, such as yeast-based silk.
McCartney will be collecting an inaugural award, the Special Recognition Award for Innovation, that aims to celebrate a designer whose collections have made a notable impact on the fashion industry, whilst also valuing their inventive qualities. “What I am most proud of is that it is a new award that is introduced into the Fashion Awards, a special recognition on innovation. I am hoping that as being the first recipient, I can inspire other design houses to follow suit and to make this the most prestigious award, not just a one-off,” the to-be winner told WWD.
The Fashion Awards will be taking place next Monday 4 December at the Royal Albert Hall, in London. Amongst the nominees, a star-cladded panel: Alessandro Michele, Gigi Hadid and Maria Grazia Chiuri are only but a handful of the contenders said to attend. The ceremony itself is the primary fundraiser for the British Fashion Council’s Education Foundation, that seeks to help students within the industry acquire financial aid.
By combining technological, ecological and ethical advances at the heart of her brand, McCartney is undoubtedly a judicious choice for the award she is meant to receive. Though the prize is but a symbol of excellence, one can only hope that it will do more, and bring awareness to the issue of durability that the world has to face nowadays within the realm of fashion.