Miuccia Prada wins international designer of the year award

Francesca Fearon

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 December, 2013, 10:06am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 December, 2013, 5:54pm

Prada's Hong Kong flagship store reopens in Alexandra House this week, revamped by Italian architect Roberto Baciocchi, and a stunning vision of flagstone floors and glass it is.

Meanwhile, in London a few days ago, Miuccia Prada was named international designer of the year at the prestigious and glamorous British Fashion Awards at the London Coliseum.

She embodies the spirit of London
Marc Jacobs

It was a timely reminder of what a global phenomenon Ms Prada has become over the past 25 years. Her knack of finding inspiration in the "ugly" and transforming it into something that others find desirable has turned her label and Miu Miu into a £3 billion (HK$38 billion) business.

The shy designer, who snuck into the ceremony after everyone else had sat down for dinner, was nominated alongside Marc Jacobs and Raf Simons at Christian Dior.

On receiving the award from Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow, she said, "I am really happy, mainly because I won against some really great designers."

Another award winner just at the dawn of her career is Simone Rocha, who scooped the emerging womenswear designer accolade for her grungy but endearing vision of glamour. She was in Hong Kong recently with I.T and managed to catch some time with her family - her father John Rocha was born and raised in Hong Kong - before flying to her pop-up shop at I.T in Beijing Market.

"It is a great achievement, which I am extremely thankful for," she says of the award, which is voted for by 300 fashion professionals. "The British Fashion Awards is a wonderful event that helps to recognise and highlight the talent and hard work that goes on in the UK fashion industry to the rest of the world."

The young designer says she could not have achieved what she has with her label without the support of London initiatives such as Fashion East and NEWGEN.

While it was a wonderful evening for Prada and Rocha, the night really belonged to Kate Moss, who received a special recognition award, and Christopher Kane. Kane was named womenswear designer of the year, topping a remarkable year in which he received investment in his brand by French luxury conglomerate Kering - confirming him as an international fashion star.

Donatella Versace flew in to give him the award. She has been ahuge supporter and mentor to Kane (he used to design her Versus collection), but he says "I thought she was here for Kate, because Kate has worked with Donatella from the beginning and they are very good friends. Then when I saw Donatella walking to the stage, I was thinking OK then, could this be it?" He admits he was stunned. "She has always been there and supported me and I truly love her, she is a true maverick," Kane says.

Fashion icon Kate Moss was honoured with a special award for her remarkable 25-year career and continued influence on the fashion industry. Presenter Marc Jacobs, who had been mesmerised by a Corinne Day photograph "of the most uniquely beautiful and imperfectly perfect girl I have ever seen", paid tribute to Kate Moss who modelled his infamous grunge collection for Perry Ellis. "It began what is one of my most cherished and special friendships," he says. "She embodies the spirit of London. She is a woman of incomparable style."

Other winners included Christopher Bailey at Burberry, for best brand and menswear designer. He said he was delighted to be showing menswear collections back on the London catwalk.

New establishment designer went to J.W. Anderson and accessory designer to Nicholas Kirkwood, recent young British signings with LVMH.