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Vivienne Westwood scoops top prize at Walpole Awards

Vivienne Westwood scooped Walpole's Medal of Excellence award for 2008 at a ceremony last night in London's Banqueting House in Whitehall.

Walpole, which represents over 100 British luxury companies, awarded the top prize to Vivienne Westwood for her support of the British fashion industry and the exhibition of her Red Label collection at London Fashion Week this year.

Chanel won best international luxury brand, Alfred Dunhill scooped the prize for best British luxury brand overseas, while Net-a-porter.com walked away with the best British luxury brand online award.

Julia Carrick, chief executive of Walpole, said: "Despite the global economic downturn and the challenges this presents to all businesses, it is clear that the depth and quality of Britain’s luxury industry will help it weather the storm. Many of Britain's major luxury brands have existed for hundreds of years and have ridden out various highs and lows. Newer luxury brands can feel confident that the British luxury industry will seek out new opportunities and continue to position itself as a worldwide luxury leader."

She added: "This ceremony provides us with the opportunity to not only recognise some outstanding British brands but to applaud some of the enormously successful international brands, such as Chanel. We are absolutely delighted that Dame Vivienne is accepting a Walpole Medal of Excellence. She has always been a beacon shining brightly in the fashion world and her influence on some of the greatest international fashion names is legendary."

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