Knitwear brand John Smedley took the Gold Award at the UK Fashion Exports Awards, which celebrate excellence in selling overseas, yesterday.
John Smedley, which was founded 225 years ago, also picked up the Heritage brand award from presenter Joanna Lumley and HRH the Princess Royal.
John Smedley managing director Andrew Caughey said: “We all recognise the challenges of the current global economy so to win the Gold Export Award during this year is a tremendous acknowledgment of the John Smedley sales team and our offshore agents and distributors. Their focused sales approach over recent years has helped strengthen the positioning of the John Smedley brand internationally and achieve growth in new markets which is helping us through these uncertain times.”
Other winners included womenswear brand Handwritten, which was set up by the founder of Ghost, Tanya Sarne. Handwritten won the Best New Exporter prize.
Ben Sherman was awarded Export Retailer of the Year.
Occasionwear brand Jenny Packham picked up the High Octane Glamour Award, Scottish knitwear brand Eribé won the Best Small Business Award, and Supreme Being, which took home the Contemporary award.
Orla Kiely won the Best Designer Business Award.
F-Troupe won the Footwear category, Cutler & Gross won the Accessories award and Playful Promises won the Lingerie & Beachwear category.
Drapers’ Ana Santi caught up with some of the winners and guests at the awards:
UKFE is part of the newly formed UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT), which is designed to bring together fashion trade bodies from across the sectors to create a single, more powerful voice.
The British Menswear Guild has confirmed it will join the UKFT.
Oscar Udeshi, chairman of BMG, said he was delighted to form a strategic alliance with UKFT. “We have plans to expand BMG and UKFT’s infrastructure will help us to do that. We look forward to sharing our extensive contacts and experience and benefitting from synergies.”
The Princess Royal has agreed to become president of UKFT.
Savile Row Bespoke and the Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry have already committed to joining UKFT.