Designer Bethany Williams will receive the second QEII Award for British Design at London Fashion Week on Tuesday 19 February, following in the footsteps of the inaugural winner Richard Quinn who hit the headlines last year when the Queen herself sat front row of his catwalk show.
The Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design was initiated in recognition of the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy and the movement of young designers that are both talented and making a difference to society through either sustainable practices or community engagement.
Williams was chosen for the award for demonstrating both value to the community and strong sustainable practices. Over recent seasons the designer has partnered with charities supporting social change across women’s empowerment, homelessness, successful rehabilitation of offenders back into society, improving literacy amongst the most vulnerable in society and education programmes teaching skills and creating employment for those with the most limited opportunities and prospects.
She also has an ongoing relationship with TIH models, a modelling agency that supports youth in London who have been affected by homelessness; casting them in campaigns and fashion shows at market standard rates.
Williams combines these social programmes with the development of new textile manufacturing techniques using materials often discarded as waste within traditional textile manufacturing facilities, recycled materials, and finding innovative ways to repurpose waste product into new usable textiles spanning industries from publishing and printing, wine bottling and tenting.
“The UK is known for its world-class creative emerging talent, and many of the new generation of talent are embedding sustainable or social impact within their businesses from the start. Bethany is an incredible example of this generation of designer and we are delighted to work with the Duchess of Cornwall this year on behalf of Her Majesty to highlight her work through this Award as another very special moment at London Fashion Week,” said British Fashion Council CEO, Caroline Rush.