Virgil Abloh was named a Leader of Change at the Fashion Awards on Monday night.
The acclaimed designer died on Sunday, at the age of 41, after being diagnosed with cancer in 2019, and tributes were paid to him during the star-studded ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Idris Elba – who was a friend of the designer – read out the Maya Angelou poem ‘When Great Trees Fall’ in a tribute to the former artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection.
Before he read the poem, Idris said: “I lost a friend, his wife lost a husband, the fashion industry lost a legend and the world lost a special human being.
“He was one of the few people I could have a conversation [with] about multitasking. But he didn’t do it for the fame or the money, he did it to inspire others.”
Abloh was awarded the Leader of Change accolade for creating “positive change within the fashion industry in the past year”, according to the British Fashion Council (BFC).
Caroline Rush, the chair of the BFC, and Stephanie Phair, the chair, also heaped praise on Abloh, describing the late designer as a “creative force of change, who throughout his career focused on inclusivity and philanthropy across fashion, art, music, design and architecture, making him one of the most influential designers of his generation”.
Other Leaders of Change included Alessandro Michele, Demna Gvasalia, Kim Jones and Jonathan Anderson.
Dylan Jones, the former GQ editor-in-chief, won a Special Recognition Award during the ceremony, which was hosted by Billy Porter.
Elsewhere, Kim Jones won the Designer of the Year gong for his efforts at Dior Mens and Fendi, where he designs womenswear, while Tommy Hilfiger claimed the Outstanding Achievement Award.
This year’s event was the first in-person Fashion Awards since 2019, due to the pandemic, and the ceremony was attended by a host of big names from the world of fashion and beyond, including the likes of Dua Lipa, Demi Moore, Gabrielle Union, Hailee Steinfeld and Adriana Lima.
Fashion Awards winners:
Isabella Blow Award:
BFC Foundation Award:
Leaders of Change, Creativity:
Special Recognition Award:
Leaders of Change, Environment:
Designer of the Year:
Leaders of Change, People:
Outstanding Achievement Award: