The Fashion Awards are set to return to the Royal Albert Hall — with south Londoner Kai Isaiah Jamal nominated for the model of the year accolade.
The red carpet event, to be staged on December 4, is often called London’s Met Gala thanks to the international A-listers it attracts. Guests in recent years have included Rihanna, Kylie Minogue, Dua Lipa and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, with Bella Hadid last year winning the prize of model of the year.
This year’s contenders are each notable for breaking boundaries. Jamal, known for their Louis Vuitton and Burberry catwalks as well as poetry and trans activism, is the only British contender among the six shortlisted by the British Fashion Council. They were described as “the voice of their generation” by the late designer Virgil Abloh in 2021.
Also nominated are Americans Paloma Elsesser, one of the industry’s strongest voices on body positivity, and Anok Yai — only the second black model to open for Prada after Naomi Campbell. Alton Mason, who has been called the world’s only male supermodel and who played Little Richard in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis last year, is also on the list.
Completing the line-up are Liu Wen, the first Chinese model to feature on three covers of American Vogue, and Mona Tougaard, the striking Danish model with Somalian, Ethiopian and Turkish heritage, who was scouted at 12 and closed Karl Lagerfeld’s final show for Chanel. For the first time, the public will be able to vote in this category.
The races for the best designer accolades are just as hot. A new, two-stage voting system was implemented this year to refine shortlists before a 1,000-strong voting committee decides the winner.
The British Fashion Council will also return to some gender-based design awards for the first time since the pandemic, splitting the best British designers (which also includes international designers with British-based brands) into menswear and womenswear categories.
For womenswear, those recognised include more established names Erdem MoralÄ±oÄlu, Roksanda IlinÄiÄ and Simone Rocha as well as rising stars Maximilian Davis and Nensi Dojaka. For menswear, Dior Men’s and Fendi creative director Kim Jones is up against comparatively smaller fish Grace Wales Bonner, Kiko Kostadinov, Martine Rose and Steven Stokey-Daley.
There will be corresponding menswear and womenswear prizes for “new establishment” designers “who have created a new movement in British fashion”. Brands Bianca Saunders LABRUM London and Nicholas Daley for men, and Chopova Lowena, Dilara FÄ±ndÄ±koÄlu and Supriya Lele for women are among those nominated.
Nominees for the headlining Designer of the Year Award, which last year was won by Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, will be announced in November. Nominees for awards including the Isabella Blow Award for a Fashion Creator, the Outstanding Achievement Award, the Leader of Change Award as well as several Special Recognition Awards are also yet to be announced.
Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, said: “It is imperative the awards are reflective of our incredibly multifaceted industry and its brands and creatives.”
The full list of nominees announced so far:
Model of the Year
Recognises the global impact of a model who over the last 12 months has dominated the industry, with an influence that transcends the catwalk.
British Menswear Designer of the Year
Recognises a leading British menswear designer who has consistently made a global impact with their innovative and creative designs, shaping the burgeoning international menswear landscape.
Grace Wales Bonner for Wales Bonner
Kiko Kostadinov for Kiko Kostadinov
Kim Jones for Dior Men
Martine Rose for Martine Rose
Steven Stokey-Daley for S.S.DALEY
British Womenswear Designer of the Year
Recognises a leading British womenswear designer who has consistently made a global impact with their innovative and creative designs, shaping the burgeoning international womenswear landscape.
Erdem MoralÄ±oÄlu for Erdem
Maximilian Davis for Ferragamo
Nensi Dojaka for Nensi Dojaka
Roksanda IlinÄiÄ for ROKSANDA
Simone Rocha for Simone Rocha
New Establishment Menswear
Recognises a menswear designer who has created a new movement in British fashion and has had a sustained impact on the industry globally. Designers are chosen based on the showcasing of their collections, their business growth, and the international headlines driven by their work.
New Establishment Womenswear
Recognises a womenswear designer who has created a new movement in British fashion and has had a sustained impact on the industry globally. Designers are chosen based on the showcasing of their collections, their business growth, and the international headlines driven by their work.