The Graduate Fashion Foundation are delighted to announce that they are evolving their support of FACE, Fashion Academics Creating Equality, to include a new prize that will make visible, the spectrum of Black excellence within a framework of diverse Black and Brown creativity.
The aim of the Black Excellence Prize is to amplify Black creativity as a broad and limitless possibility and inspire all young Black and Brown creatives to find belonging in a prize that recognises their unique contribution to style, culture, fashion and society. The award is open to all Black and Brown final year students in any BA fashion related course in the UK and the winner will be presented with their prize as part of the prestigious annual Graduate Fashion Week Awards to be held on Friday 18th June, following two rounds of judging panels.
For the first time in its 30-year history, this particular prize is open to all further education institutions and not just those that are members of the Graduate Fashion Foundation with students able to nominate themselves by submitting their final projects alongside video or written statements in support of their work.
The award will be judged by an esteemed industry panel of; NewGen Prize-winning and LVMH Award Shortlisted Designer Bianca Saunders, Creative Director and Cultural Curator Harris Elliott and Designer, Educator and Co-Founder of FACE Andrew Ibi.
Bianca Saunders, Designer and Judge said, “Visibility is the key for Black and Brown students. To see people that are doing well and showing how high they can aim is important. As a student I was determined to break ceilings and not allow anything to stop me as I thought a younger version of me would be inspired to see someone in a position that is progressive for the industry! The Black Excellence prize is an amazing platform.”
Pascal Matthias, Sharon Lloyd and Andrew Ibi FACE Co-founders said, “FACE is delighted to focus national and international attention on young creatives so deserving of the spotlight. Through the creation of this prize, we invite future visionaries to enjoy rightful and long-awaited recognition of Black and Brown contribution to fashion and culture. The FACE Black Excellence Prize acknowledges the historical contribution of our unsung previous greats, to create the first of many new opportunities for this generation to shine.”
Andrew Ibi, FACE Co-Founder, Educator, judge and award winning alumni of GFW said, “Being a Black student in education continues to be a challenge but being a Black student in Fashion 25 years ago was a different proposition altogether. GFW was an opportunity for me to communicate fashion through culture and push some very powerful Black narratives. Winning was a surprise – but the storytelling was undoubtedly some of the most powerful seen at GFW. It was performative, we set a book alight whilst our 12 individually, character based, street- cast Black models recited The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”.
Joy Campbell, Director of Brand Partnerships said, “The Graduate Fashion Foundation exists to elevate exceptional creative talent to the industry that they want to work in. For too long Black and Brown creatives have been under-represented in the fashion industry and this prize will be an important step forward in acknowledging and celebrating these creatives and we are proud to be here to help amplify the important work that FACE are doing”.