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The Queen sits front row at Richard Quinn as designer receives inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design

Lauretta Roberts
20 February 2018

Her Majesty the Queen took up a front row seat at London Fashion Week this afternoon for the AW18 catwalk show of rising fashion star Richard Quinn. Quinn, who was showing his AW18 collection, is the recipient of the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design.

The Award, initiated in recognition of the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy, will be awarded annually, presented by a senior member of the Royal Family, to an emerging British fashion designer of womenswear, menswear, or accessories that shows exceptional talent and originality, whilst demonstrating value to the community and/or strong sustainable policies.

Central Saint Martins graduate Quinn, who has made his mark in fashion with his bold head-to-toe prints, was selected to receive the prize by British Fashion Council (BFC) CEO Caroline Rush and BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent, Sarah Mower.

Rush said of the award: "It is an incredible honour for our industry to be granted this recognition by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. For the honour to be bestowed annually on an emerging designer, in recognition of the UK being the global centre for fashion talent is great recognition for Richard Quinn, as well as the incredible talents that have developed businesses here in the UK, and those that will follow in his footsteps."

Mower, who has been a champion of Quinn's said he "exemplifies the excellence of UK fashion education". "In addition to the colourful optimism of his collections, his simultaneous setting up of his open-access print works in Peckham demonstrates a community-minded business sense which is contributing to the present and future of British fashion manufacturing. I congratulate Richard for cementing this link between fashion and British industry, and for being the first recipient of this momentous recognition,” Mower said.

Quinn presented a collection, which was all printed on an Epson digital printer at his south London studio, where he not only creates his own designs but also produces samples for big names such as Burberry and JW Anderson, as well as some his peer group of emerging fashion designers.

The idea for the award was raised by Her Majesty’s Personal Advisor, Ms Angela Kelly, who has orchestrated The Queen’s wardrobe for over 26 years. Following Her Majesty's 90th birthday celebrations, it was agreed that an Award would be created to recognise emerging British Fashion Talent in the name of Queen Elizabeth II, to provide a legacy of support for the industry in recognition the role fashion has played throughout The Queen's Reign and continues to play in diplomacy, culture and communications. Each year a designer will be selected by the BFC, in collaboration with the Royal Household, to be recognised by this Award.

The Queen was joined in the front row of the show by US Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

It has been a big week for Quinn who was yesterday named as one of the new Designers at Debenhams.

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