The British Fashion Council’s Changemakers Prize celebrates the industry’s unsung heroes
In partnership with Swarovski, the BFC has today announced nine nominees including the founders of inclusive talent agency Zebedee, and Stay Wild Swim, a swimwear brand creating products from ocean plastic.
- Ayla Angelos
- 22 July 2021
- Reading Time
- 3 minute read
Celebrating the unsung heroes in the fashion industry is the BFC Changemakers Prize, launching today with the announcement of its roster of nominees. The prize, launched by the British Fashion Council (BFC) in partnership with Swarovski, initially kicked off earlier this year and saw over 500 applications from all corners of the industry. The selected nine nominees include individuals from dress-makers to hair-makers, image-makers, lace-makers and eco-makers (more info on the nominees below), and on 2 September 20201, three winners will be revealed and granted a £7,500 cash prize, plus a mentorship package with support from BFC and Swarovski.
Narrowed down by a judge of high-profile names, the panel sorted through a mass of entrants that were nominated by colleagues, peers, employers and businesses; those nominated are recognised for their outstanding work in the industry, and those who land on the BFC’s Institute of Positive Fashion pillars of Environment, People, Craftsmanship and Community. The judging committee was led by BFC chief executive Caroline Rush and Swarovski creative director Giovanna Engelbert, plus Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief of British Vogue and European editorial director of Vogue; Farrah Storr, editor-in-chief of Elle UK; Ib Kamara, editor-in-chief of Dazed; Jo Ellison, editor of How to Spend It and deputy editor of FT Weekend; models and activists Lily Cole and Munroe Bergdorf; plus fashion television personality Tan France.
As for the nominees, those chosen each sit within one of the BFC’s pillars. In the People pillar is Cyndia Harvey, a hair-maker nominee who aims to use her stills to fight for the visibility of underrepresented groups in society, in turn championing Black women and Black hair. Laura Johnson and Zoe Proctor are image-maker nominees who launched Zebedee Talent Agency to give space for models with disabilities and visible differences. Rahemur Rahman, an image-maker nominee, focuses on representing the British Bangladeshi community in London and transgender rights in Bangladesh – done so through teaching and community outreach, plus skills in design, film and campaigning.
Within the Environment pillar, craft-maker nominee John Hickling is the founder of Glass Onion, a remade clothing provider to the high street who cuts, sews and remakes 12,000 remade pieces a month. Natalie Glaze and Zanna Van Dijk, eco-maker nominees, are the co-founders of Stay Wild Swim, a sustainable essentials and swimwear brand creating products from ocean plastic. And Patrick McDowell, dress-maker nominee, is a young designer and sustainability design director for Pinko fashion house; he’s also a global ambassador for the Graduate Fashion Foundation where he mentors along with various institutions on the UK.
The Community and Craftsmanship pillars houses nominee Andrew Kenny, thread-maker, who's the owner of The London Embroidery Studio, which offers courses to the local community and discounts for those disadvantaged or on a low income. Cozette McCreery, community-maker nominee, brings together designers and technicians through their work to make PPE for the NHS during the Covid-10 pandemic. And Daisy Knatchbull, stitch-maker nominee, is the founder of The Deck London, the first solely-female shop front in Saville Row that’s giving space for more female tailors.
Zebedee: Elle Serbia, photographer Alice webb (Copyright © Zebedee, 2021)
About the Author
Ayla was an editorial assistant back in June 2017 and has continued to work with us on a freelance basis. She has spent the last seven years as a journalist, and covers a range of topics including photography, art and graphic design. Feel free to contact Ayla with any stories or new creative projects.