British Fashion Council launches Fashion Awards 2021 and announces inaugural Metaverse Design winner
The British Fashion Council (BFC) announced its first ever Fashion Award for the Metaverse Design category today, alongside the launch of the 2021 Fashion Awards on online gaming platform, Roblox.
Creative Director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele made an appearance on Roblox as an avatar to present the award, which recognises a digital designer who pushes the boundaries and showcases excellence in digital fashion design within the metaverse.
Created in partnership with Roblox, the award was given to cSapphire, a 2D turned virtual designer who worked with Gucci on the fashion house's collaboration with the virtual channel.
The award nominees, made up of four other digital Roblox creators, selected by the platform’s users include Genkroco, a virtual creator known for its digital hairstyle designs and has accumulated over 30 million sales, 3D designer Reverse_Polarity, who began using Roblox two weeks after its 2006 launch and has garnered over 17 million sales through the site, and 2D designer Sparkings, whose versatile design styles ranges from high end designs to the fairy kei aesthetic.
2D designer cSapphire, who started creating designs on the platform at the age of 12, was chosen by a judging panel made up of BFC chief executive Caroline Rush, supermodel Karlie Kloss, journalist Christopher Morency, Dazed Fashion features director Emma Davidson, and W Magazine's editor-in-chief Sara Moonves.
Christina Wootton, VP of Brand Partnerships, Roblox said: "The next generation of designers are dressing avatars, and they are doing it on Roblox where anyone can be a creator, starting with their own online identity. Fashion is about what’s next and finding new voices with clear visions, and this talent is emerging in the metaverse.
"It is the global creative space for the next generation of designers who are bringing limitless self-expression opportunities to people around the world, setting new trends that are starting to move into real life, and sharing their expertise with top brands. This recognition from a powerful fashion institution declares loud and clear that this is the space to watch for future fashion trends and talent."
To celebrate the launch of the award, the BFC and Roblox have recreated the Royal Albert Hall to allow the platform’s users to experience the awards as active participants from 29 November to 7 December 7.
Visitors can walk the red carpet, explore nominees’ displays, watch awards video footage and try on and purchase exclusive Gucci virtual items, with the proceeds going to the BFC Foundation charity.
Caroline Rush, BFC Chief Executive, said: "As we continue to reposition The Fashion Awards as a global entertainment platform, we are so excited to announce this project with Roblox. By awarding the platform’s creators we are recognising the powerful global impact of digital fashion on communities around the world, its ability to create new trends in fashion, as well as the incredible opportunities it provides for talented young creators.
"I was blown away by the work, and creativity of all the nominees and am looking forward to exploring The Fashion Awards experience in the metaverse."
The Fashion Awards is an annual fundraiser for the British Fashion Council Foundation, which aims to celebrate excellence and support the growth of the British fashion industry through education and mentoring. In 2020/21, the BFC raised £1.7 million for its foundation.