24 November 2022
4 minutes read
© Marie Maite
Thursday evening, the winners of the Belgian Fashion Awards 2022 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 we showcase Belgian fashion to the world!
A carefully selected international jury led by Vena Brykalin, fashion director Vogue Ukraine, awarded the seven coveted awards. Members of the jury included amongst others fashion editor Aya Noël (BE), co-founder of UNRUN Elodie Ouédraogo (BE), co-founder and director of FASHIONCLASH Branko Popovich (NL), fashion journalist Jesse Brouns (FR), creative director at Courrèges Nicolas Di Felice (FR), Head of Emerging Brands Initiative at Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la mode Serge Carreira (FR), co-founder of Fashion Revolution Orsola De Castro (IT), president at Villa Noailles Pascale Mussard (FR), Creative Director & Head of Buying at Voo Store Berlin Thibaud Guyonnet (D) and fashion journalist Milou Van Rossum (NL).
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The big winner of the evening was jewellery designer Stephanie D'heygere, who was awarded the jury prize. After founding her own eponymous jewellery and accessories label in 2018, she quickly gained international success. The jury praised her gender-inclusive and original designs, which they described as surreal and typically Belgian. 'Stephanie D'heygere deserves the Jury Prize because she has managed to build an inclusive community around her and her brand. Over and over again, she prefers quality over quantity.'
Glenn Martens, creative director at Diesel and Y/Project, may once again call himself Designer of the Year - he also won this award in 2018. The jury's verdict was unanimous: 'Glenn Martens is impressive. His talent and sphere of influence are equally impressive. With Diesel, Y/Project and his haute-couture collection for Jean-Paul Gaultier, he does everything and he does it well. His career is exemplary, with continuity and a willingness to break the rules for the sake of greater sustainability, inclusivity, democratisation and kindness.'
Young fashion designer Florentina Leitner takes home the Emerging Talent of the Year award. In 2020, Florentina Leitner launched her eponymous label, aimed at the 'girly and fun' woman who loves floral prints with a twist - in other words, a woman who, like her, 'loves art and fashion'. She is praised by the jury for her vision and style, her willingness to work sustainably and the way she uses upcycling in her collections. In addition to the award, Florentina Leitner will also receive a cash prize of 5,000 euro and the Brussels Museum of Fashion and Lace will purchase one of her designs for their collection.
Belgian-Moroccan photographer Mous Lamrabat has been awarded as this year's Professional of the Year. The jury admires him for the way he mixes his Moroccan roots with the Western world he grew up in, and praises him for his unique contribution to fashion photography.
The Changemaker of the Year award goes to Ester Manas & Balthazar Delepierre, the duo behind clothing brand Ester Manas. Founded in 2019, the label stands for bold collections for powerful and high-spirited women. The jury has nothing but praise for the duo: "Ester Manas is the perfect example of how a young, independent label can be a real engine for change. Ester Manas and Balthazar Delepierre's voice is relevant, powerful, radical and uncompromising. Their influence is undeniable; they have succeeded in pushing the boundaries in the fashion industry."
Sebastian Van Canneyt, who received his master's degree from Ghent's KASK earlier this year, received the Most Promising Graduate of the Year award. "We were all seduced by Sebastian's conceptual work, by the twist in his artistic installation of his graduation collection and by his ironic and intelligent design and use of language," said jury president Venya Brykalin.
This year's audience award Brand of the Year goes to Belgian clothing brand Xandres. Xandres has been making women shine in sophisticated simplicity for over 50 years. Effortlessly chic, timeless yet refreshing, designed with great attention to details and iconic quality. As a company, Xandres is also increasingly committed to sustainability. In other words: a fine example of Belgian, sustainable fashion.
The quirky Rosie Antwerp, founded in 2021 by sisters Marie and Ellen Martens, wins this year's UPR Prize from the PR and communications agency UPR. Rosie Antwerp's unique garments and recognisable prints stem from their creative background, shared passion and family ties. Thanks to this prize, the Antwerp-based label can count on professional support from UPR one year long.
The Belgian Fashion Awards are an annual occasion to celebrate Belgian fashion and honour the creatives in the fashion industry. This event has been organised since 2017 by several partners active in the Belgian fashion field : ,Flanders DC, MAD Brussels, Wallonie Bruxelles Design Mode and Weekend Knack/ Le Vif Weekend.
The awards aim to highlight the creativity and diversity in Belgian fashion, both on a national and international level. In the fashion world, Belgium is known as surrealistic, avant-garde and modest. During the award ceremony, this modesty is put aside to show that Belgian fashion is so much more. Belgian fashion also stands for creative innovation, personality and sustainability.