Outgoing Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts scooped the Medal of Excellence at last night’s Walpole Awards for Excellence at the Banqueting House, Whitehall.
Walpole, the luxury brands trade body that represents more than 175 labels, awarded Ahrendts with the prize to honour her success in reinventing Burberry, and her significant contribution to putting British luxury brands back on the map.
Ahrendts announced last month that she is to leave Burberry next year to join Apple, with creative director Christopher Bailey set to step into her role.
Walpole chairman Ben Hughes said: “It was an honour to present Angela Ahrendts with the Medal of Excellence. Angela has transformed Burberry into a world-class luxury brand, and contributed immensely to the reputation and success of the British luxury industry as a whole.”
Among the other winners were footwear designer Nicholas Kirwood, who picked up the award for Emerging British Luxury Brand and Paul Smith, who won British Luxury Design Talent. Gucci was awarded International Luxury Brand while Alexander McQueen scooped the prize for British Luxury Brand Overseas.
A Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to Julia Carrick, who is stepping down after having been chief executive of Walpole for 13 years.
Walpole managing director Michelle Emmerson said: “Tonight is an unparalleled opportunity to celebrate the vast talent across the luxury sector, to honour individuals, brands, and their creative teams.”
She added: “Over the coming year we will push Walpole British Luxury forward, focusing on our international associates and network, and consolidate the message that the luxury industry is an essential driver for the economic success and international reputation of Great Britain.”