The building of the Handelsbeurs in Antwerp filled up again on Thursday November 30 to see the unveiling of the winners of the Belgian Fashion Awards. Not only big (international) names were honoured with an award, but young talent was also put in the spotlight. The grand jury prize was awarded to designer Jan Jan van Essche.
Van Essche founded his brand back in 2010 and has been working on the brand at his own pace ever since. For the general public, the designer and the brand remained under the radar for quite some time, but recently the spotlight was put more on the brand among other things because of an invitation from fashion event Pitti Uomo to give a show in Florence. This show was very well received by attendees. The jury praised Van Essche for his authenticity, consistency and clear identity.
Young designer Igor Dieryck could take home an extra award after the award ceremony. After all, he went home with the 'Emerging talent of the year' award. Earlier this year he won two awards at the renowned Hyères Festival and in 2022 he already won the UAntwerpen x Flanders DC award. Dieryck expressed his pride at being part of the list of nominees for this particular award and that he believes fashion has a bright future ahead thanks to his fellow nominees. Not only will Dieryck take home the award, thanks to his win, the Musée de la Dentelle et de la Mode will also acquire a look by him.
A new category, the 'Accessory Designer of the Year', has also been added to the list of awards presented at this year's Belgian Fashion Awards. It was created because there was a need from the industry to also recognise accessory design. The first award in this category went to Sarah Levy.
Jan Jan Van Essche wins big prize Belgian Fashion Awards, emerging talent Igor Dieryck also wins prizes
A total of eight awards were presented at the awards show on November 30. 'Designer of the year' went to designer Anthony Vaccarello. The 'Changemaker of the year' title went to Laetitia Bica who moved the audience with her speech on inclusivity and that every body is beautiful. The title 'Professional of the year' went to Frederik Heyman and 'Most Promising Graduate of the Year' went to Leslie Nonvignon who had not seen the win coming, but enthusiastically accepted the statuette.
The Belgian Fashion Awards are held annually and aim to celebrate Belgian fashion and honour creatives in the fashion industry. The event is organised by Flanders DC, MAD Brussels and Wallonie-Bruxelles Design Mode, and the editorial boards of the magazines Weekend Knack and Le Vif Weekend.
This article was originally published on FashionUnited.NL. Translation and edit from Dutch into English by Veerle Versteeg.