30 November 2023
5 minutes read
© Fille Roelants
On November 30 the eight winners of the Belgian Fashion Awards 2023 were announced. The awards have been organised since 2017 by Flanders DC, MAD Brussels, Wallonie-Bruxelles Design Mode and Weekend Knack/ Le Vif Weekend to highlight the creativity and diversity of the talents in the Belgian fashion sector. This is how Belgian fashion is showcased to the world!
A carefully selected international jury, led by president Serge Carreira, Head of Emerging Brands Initiative at the Fédération de la Haute Couture in Paris, awarded the eight coveted prizes. For the first time, an award was also presented for the Accessory Designer of the Year. On November 30 the winners received their awards during the festive award ceremony at the historic Handelsbeurs in Antwerp. Check out all the winners.
The big winner of the evening was fashion designer Jan-Jan Van Essche, who received the Jury Prize 2023. He founded his eponymous fashion label in 2010 and, despite staying relatively under the radar, is highly regarded internationally by fashion connoisseurs. During the Pitti Uomo fashion week in 2023, he presented his first show, making a significant international impression. The jury praised his authenticity, consistency, and very clear identity. "Jan-Jan Van Essche brought slow fashion even before the phenomenon had a name. He deserves the Jury Prize because he demonstrates that it's not about the size of your business but about your talent."
Anthony Vaccarello, creative director at Saint Laurent since 2016, is honored with the Designer of the Year 2023 title. The jury unanimously praised his work: "Anthony knows how to bring change in an interesting way at a high level, both for men and women. Not only did he make Saint Laurent relevant again, but he has been building his trajectory for a very long time with a certain consistency that has never been rewarded until now. It's time to pay tribute to that."
Young fashion designer Igor Dieryck takes home the Emerging Talent of the Year award. In 2022 he graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, after which he worked for Meryll Rogge and Acne Studios. Currently, he contributes to the menswear leather, sportswear, and tailoring team at the fashion house Hermès. In addition to winning three awards at the renowned Hyères festival this fall, Igor Dieryck is praised by the jury for his determination and hypercreative, almost poetic designs. Along with the award, Igor also received a cash prize of 5000 euros. In addition, the Fashion and Lace Museum of Brussels will purchase a silhouette of Igor for their permanent collection.
Digital artist Frederik Heyman is named this year's Professional of the Year. The former fashion photographer transformed about a decade ago into a multimedia image maker who creates hyper-realistic worlds populated by avatars of people and objects in 3D. He presents conceptual, digital installations and videos that focus on technology and the human body. The likes of Y/Project, Burberry, Nike and Diesel have already called on him, in addition to artists such as Arca and Lady Gaga. For Beyoncé's recent Renaissance tour, in addition to visuals, he provided props such as a moon chariot and a Venus shell. The jury admires him for his groundbreaking use of technology and detailed working methods with an eye for fashion.
The Changemaker of the Year award goes to Laetitia Bica, a contemporary artist who places research at the heart of her work. Her artistic endeavors intertwine across various realms where she operates as a professional photographer, integrating into the worlds of publishing, fashion, videoclips, as well as theater and dance. The jury praised Laetitia for her vision, stating: 'While social media has made everything so openly accessible, the human body seems more stereotyped than ever. Laetitia offers a unique perspective, creatively expanding the view of the human body.'
Leslie Novignon, who graduated with a master's degree in fashion design and pattern making from Haute École Francisco Ferrer in Brussels, received the Most Promising Graduate of the Year award. Through her graduate collection titled 'Rite of Passage,' Leslie creates a bridge between her quest for identity as a creative mind and the representation of the past and present of Africa to form a collection consisting of 'totem' silhouettes. 'The way Leslie integrates Africa into her work fascinated us all. By awarding her this prize, we celebrate a positive change in fashion,' said the jury.
The audience award for Brand of the Year goes to the Belgian fashion label Orta, an acronym for the French words 'objectif,' 'responsable,' 'tendance,' and 'abordable.' The Brussels-based fashion label, which started as an online project by Marion Schoutteten in 2017, places sustainability at the heart of everything. They launched the 'Orta La Suite' project, where clothes are developed from A to Z in Europe: from the cultivation of the material from which the fabrics are made to the ateliers where the pieces are produced. Meanwhile Marion and her husband Gauthier opened an Orta boutique in Brussels, gathered a team of 30 colleagues, and have around 400 seamstresses working for Orta from France to Portugal.
For the first time in the history of the Belgian Fashion Awards, the Accessory Designer of the Year award was also presented this year. This honor goes to Sarah Levy, After ten years in architecture, Levy threw in the towel, took a master's degree in Accessories at La Cambre and started her eponymous label. With her first collection, she won the Prix Artagnon in 2018 and the Audience Award in 2019 at the Hyères Festival. The jury praised her experimental approach to accessories: 'Her work for Marine Serre, Givenchy, Patou and Hermès, among others, is very recognizable and promising. It was time to highlight the person behind the designs.'
The 2023 jury members were Serge Carreira, Head of Emerging Brands Initiative at the Fédération de la Haute Couture in Paris, as president of the jury, next to to fashion designer Meryll Rogge (BE), make up artist Inge Grognard (BE), fashion editor at Metal Magazine Natalia Andrea Perez Hernandez (ES), editor in chief of Numéro and Numéro Hommes Netherlands Timoteij Letonja (NL), CEO & Founder of UNTITLED showroom Thomas Tistounet (FR), manager & buyer at Louis Antwerp Henry Schöning (BE), curator at the MoMu Antwerp Elisa De Wyngaert (BE), curator at the Modemuseum Hasselt Eve Demoen (BE), director of the Fashion & Lace Museum Caroline Esgain (BE) and editor of C'est du Belge (RTBF) Marie-Hélène Vanderborght (BE).
This year's award objects were designed by Paul Boudens.