Richard Quinn hosts ultimate VIP as Queen Elizabeth is sat front row

Emerging designer Richard Quinn delivered perhaps the biggest headline of London Fashion Week so far as Queen Elizabeth was sat in the front row of his show on Tuesday.


@LondonFashionWk/Ben Broomfield


Perched between BFC chief executive Caroline Rush and US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, she was there to present the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design.

Prior to the show, she toured the Designer Showrooms event to view the collections and met the creatives behind labels showing as part of Headonism and Rock Vault. They included designers Completedworks, DAOU, Frances Wadsworth Jones, Harvey Santos, Lily Kamper, Rachel Boston, Shimell and Madden, and The Season Hats. 

She was then introduced by Sarah Mower (who’s BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent) to a group of Newgen designers including Ben Cottrell, Charles Jeffrey, Grace Wales Bonner, Liam Hodges, Marta Jakubowski, Matthew Dainty, Michael Halpern, Nicholas Daley, Paula Knorr, Phoebe English, Richard Malone and Sadie Williams.

Quinn, who has just been announced as the newest name on the Debenhams list for its Designers at Debenhams label, was honoured as the first recipient of the new award named after the British monarch. The Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design was initiated “in recognition of the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy,” and will be awarded annually to an emerging British fashion designer “who shows exceptional talent and originality, whilst demonstrating value to the community and/or strong sustainable policies.”

London-born Quinn established his namesake label in 2016 on graduating from the Fashion MA course at Central Saint Martins. Specialising in womenswear and textiles, he’s known for his strong prints and “for his ability to combine unique handcrafted skill with a refined high fashion sensibility.” He also established a print studio that offers high quality, accessible services to students and his peer group of emerging designers.

The award itself was designed by the Queen’s personal advisor Angela Kelly, who has orchestrated her wardrobe for the past 26 years. 

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