Walpole Awards celebrate the best in British luxury

The best of British luxury is recognised at the Walpole British Luxury Awards hosted by Jason Isaacs, writes William Cash

Two weeks after Spear’s hosted the Oscars of the British financial world at The Dorchester,  it was the turn of the British luxury and fashion industry to swill champagne and award the very best of British talent at the 17th Walpole British Luxury Awards on Monday night.

Hosted by BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated actor Jason Isaacs, star of the Harry Potter films, the awards singled out the best British creative talents in a sector now worth over £32 billion to the UK economy. The globally recognised awards are regarded as the highest accolade in the luxury sector with many of the Walpole Brands of Tomorrow (sponsored by Mishcon de Reya) going on to become iconic brands of the future.

Recognising this ability of Walpole to scout of  the next generation of British luxury brands, the Brands of Tomorrow Award for Emerging Talent was presented to DeMellier, Luke Edward Hall, Rory Dobner, and The Vampires Wife.

Cressida Bonas handed the Luxury Maker of the Year Award to Mulberry’s creative director Johnny Coca. Other glamorous names included Yasmin le Bon, Lady Kitty Spencer and June Sarong.

Amongst the big names to win were Belmond, the global luxury hotel, travel and cruise brand that have taken river cruises in France and exotic railways journeys across Europe (including Ireland and Scotland) to a new level in recent years.

I can personally endorse the Belmond brand after taking a four day railway journey across Ireland on the Grand Hibernian train that will be featuring in the next issue of The Spear’s 500 Travel Guide.

Belmond have also set new standards in cabin luxury and chefs with their river cruises in France, completely re-defining the concept of river travel. It helps that they also have their own cookery school at Le Manoir outside Oxford, run by no less that Raymond Blanc.

Other winners were Fortnum & Mason, Mulberry, Manolo Blahnik and the V & A with fashion and accessory brands being in the luxury ascendancy.

Jason Isaacs

The Luxury Leader award was given to  Alison Loehnis, President of Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter for her ‘creative leadership’ skills across fashion, business and digital.

Manolo Blahnik was named ‘Luxury Legend’ in recognition of his 40-year career as one of the world’s most influential footwear designers.

Natalie Livingstone and Tina Brown collected the Award for Cultural Contribution for the critically acclaimed Cliveden Literary Festival.

The Walpole British Luxury Awards celebrate individuals, brands and emerging talent that make the British luxury and fashion industry one of the leaders in the world. Walpole is regarded as the leading body nurturing British success story in the global fashion industry. It runs a series of mentoring programmes, events, research and public affairs with the British government and across Europe.

Pic Credit: Dave Benett

Walpole’s CEO, Helen Brocklebank said: ‘As we’ve seen celebrated so beautifully this evening, British luxury, the arts and culture in the UK make such a massive contribution to the global reputation of the country and it seems more important than ever to celebrate the innovators, inventors and creatives who help to make Great Britain famous all over the world.

‘My thanks to Jason Isaacs for being the perfect host and congratulations to all of our winners and shortlisted brands, you each make a towering contribution to the continuing success of our sector’.

Hosting the ceremony, Jason Isaacs wore a bespoke Henry Poole dinner jacket and Manolo Blahnik Oxford shoes. The black-tie event began with a Laurent-Perrier champagne reception,

Erdem and Christopher Wheeldon

This was followed by an elegant three-course dinner of gin and tonic salmon with Bramley apple salad, roast duck with sweet potato puree and apple cider jus and passionfruit and mango dacquoise. Sumaridge Syrah 2013 and Sumaridge Estate White 2016 was served as the awards were announced and the night was capped off with an after-party hosted by the Dovetail Agency Cocktail Club, during which guests sipped on The Lakes Explorer gin and tonic and Royal Salute Whisky.

The winners of the 2018 Walpole British Luxury Awards were chosen by an esteemed judging panel. The panel was chaired by Michael Ward, MD, Harrods & Chairman, Walpole, and includes Helen Brocklebank, CEO, Walpole; Mark Harvey, CEO, Chapel Down; Gillian De Bono, Editor, How to Spend it; Michael Morley, CEO, Deutsche Bank UK Limited; Mark Henderson, Chairman, Gieves & Hawkes; Richard Carter, Director of Global Communications, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Jonathan Heilbron, Chairman, Walpole Brands of Tomorrow; Philippe Warnery; Senior Vice President and GM of Estée Lauder; Dr. Frederick Mostert, Research Fellow, University of Oxford IP Research Centre and Justine Picardie, Editor-in-Chief, Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country.

William Cash is the Editor in Chief at Spear’s 

Photo credit: Dave Benett