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The Fashion Awards 2016, presented in London on December 5, raised funds for the British Fashion Council’s Education Foundation charity. Through celebrating the best of international talent from the world’s dedicated fashion industry, the 15 awards and recipients—such as British Brand’s winner Alexander McQueen, International Model’s winner Gigi Hadid, and Outstanding Achievement’s winner Ralph Lauren—fundraise for education scholarships so that leading talent of today can attend fashion colleges to further their passions.
Swarovski, this year’s official partner, also has a special award: The Swarovski Award for Positive Change. To further discuss the award’s recipient Franca Sozzani, we spoke with Nadja Swarovski, the great-great-granddaughter of the company’s founder Daniel Swarovski and Member of the Executive Board, Swarovski Crystal Business.
WHITEWALL: Why did the brand want to be involved as this year’s official partner for The Fashion Awards, formerly the British Fashion Awards, which was hosted at the Royal Albert Hall?
NADJA SWAROVSKI: This is the third successive season that we are supporting the British Fashion Council with its annual awards. It is always a pleasure to celebrate the amazing achievements of the United Kingdom’s fashion industry in London, which is such a vibrant city for design and creativity. When the British Fashion Awards explained to us earlier this year that they wanted to expand the awards to become global platform for both the industry and the public it was an obvious choice to support the event once again. Especially when we saw that there was an amazing opportunity to use this event to create lasting impact by supporting fashion education, which is such an important commitment for us as a brand.
WW: Can you tell us a little bit about The Swarovski Award for Positive Change, and its chosen recipient, Franca Sozzani?
NS: This year, we are pleased to introduce the inaugural Swarovski Award for Positive Change. As the fashion awards have evolved, we also thought it would be important to have an award that recognizes one person who has made an amazing lifetime impact for the greater good. Franca Sozzani is an inspirational woman, and such a fitting winner. We are so excited to celebrate her many efforts to create positive change, both inside and outside the industry.
WW: Tell us about the awards’ 15 trophies that were designed with Marc Newson, and handcrafted in your brand’s headquarters in Wattens, Austria—800 miles from their ultimate destination.
NS: The trophies are truly stunning. The hexagonal design was inspired by natural crystal structures, and the 15 individual trophies all sit together to create one beautiful clustered formation. Each one is a bespoke size, and the effect they create as they reflect and refract the light is so beautiful and eye-catching.
WW: Why was Newson someone the brand wanted to work with for these designs?
NS: Marc is one of the most influential designers of his generation. He has worked across a huge range of disciplines, from furniture to yachts, but he had never created anything with our crystal before. We had had lots of interesting conversations with Marc before, but we never found quite the right project for a collaboration. It is always so rewarding when you collaborate with someone who helps you expand your own abilities; Marc worked with our technical teams to almost double the volume of the trophy this year, which was a major technical challenge. However the results speak for themselves.