NI designer Jonathan Anderson wins top gong at British Fashion Awards 2023

NI designer Jonathan Anderson wins top gong at British Fashion Awards 2023

Anderson, who was raised in Magherafelt and is the son of former Ireland rugby captain Willie Anderson, took home the top gong for his work on his eponymous label and his work with Spanish fashion house Loewe.

The Northern Ireland beat saw off competition for the awards, which were held at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday evening, including beating widely tipped frontrunner Sarah Burton for her work at Alexander McQueen.

Taylor Russell at the Fashion Awards 2023 wearing Jonathan Anderson for Loewe. (Ian West/PA)

Burton announced she will step down from her top role at the fashion house earlier this year, which she has helmed since her mentor Alexander ‘Lee’ McQueen died in 2010 at the age of 40.

Anderson also won over Daniel Lee at Burberry, Matthieu Blazy for Bottega Veneta, and Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons for Prada. However, Burton didn’t walk away empty handed the Special Recognition Award for her work in British fashion. She is perhaps best known for designing the wedding dress of the Princess of Wales, Catherine Middleton when she married Prince William in 2011.

Other winners of the evening included Maximilian Davis for Ferragamo who took home British Womenswear Designer Award and Martine Rose for Martine Rose who won British Menswear Designer Award.

Stormzy at the British Fashion Awards 2023 (Ian West/PA)

The awards which were hosted by Maya Jama, were also attended by rapper Stormzy, Kate Moss, and actors Jodie Comer and Josh O’Connor.

Singer Sam Smith was named Cultural Innovator Award, departing British Vogue editor Edward Enninful was named the recipient of Trailblazer Award and I May Destroy You and Black Panther star Michael Coel was given the The Pandora Leader of Change Award.

Host of the British Fashion Awards 2023 Maya Jama (Ian West/PA)

During a panel session at The Business of Fashion Voices 2023 event, Anderson spoke about how his brand has only grew in popularity over recent years, which has saw him dress and design for A-listers including Beyonce, Rihanna and Zendaya.

He has made countless headlines in recent years for his brand’s strange design choices including the famous pigeon shaped purse which was recently donned by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City revival And Just Like That, as well as a pillow shaped handbag and flip-flops in the style of a frog.

The JW Anderson pigeon clutch bag Credit: JW

“As the brand gets bigger, the marketing spend gets bigger and now we have to consider so many different things,” he said while on a panel with Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy.

“But I enjoy succumbing to it somehow; to maintain a creative approach while filling a much bigger window. Sometimes you have to make the decision to give the audience what they don’t want — to annoy them even.

“That’s when the clock starts ticking,” he said.

The NI designer also took to social media to celebrate his win and thanked all those who have supported him during his career.

“No words. Some years are different, thank you to everyone, could not do it without you all. Love Jonathan,” he wrote on Instagram.

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