Romance Was Born took out the Designer of the Year Award for 2021 | Source: Romance Was Born Facebook

All the Winners of the Australian Fashion Laureate Awards 2021

Australian fashion’s most impactful and innovative designers have been honoured at the 14th annual Australian Fashion Laureate Awards.

Announced by IMG, the Australian Fashion Laureate award winners enjoyed a luncheon at Mimi’s Restaurant in Coogee yesterday.

Established by IMG and the New South Wales Government, the nominees are chosen by a panel of industry leaders.

In striving for change and innovation, today’s honorees have played a significant role in futureproofing our industry and reinforcing the cultural impact of fashion both within and beyond Australia.

Natalie Xenita, Vice President/Managing Director of IMG Fashion Events & Properties Asia Pacific

The winners

Earning the prestigious award of Designer of the Year was Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales for Romance Was Born.

In an Instagram post, the duo behind the leading fashion label described their RWB Forever collection from this year’s Afterpay Australian Fashion Week as “a celebration of our creativity, collaboration, inclusivity and most important, sustainability.”

The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award was Linda Jackson AO who is known for her bold prints and silhouettes.

Presented by Spotify, the Emerging Designer of Year was Richard Jarman, the founder and creative director of ethical swim and resortwear brand, Commas. Earlier this year, Commas was awarded the 2021 National Design Award.

The Carla Zampatti Award for Excellence in Leadership was given to Grace Lillian Lee, the founder of First Nations Fashion and Design.

The Indigenous Designer of the Year was awarded to Julie Shaw of MAARA Collective, whose luxury resortwear draws inspiration from Country and supports education in remote Aboriginal communities through the brand’s relationship with the Buy1 Give1 program.

Deborah Sams and Mary Lou Ryan took home the title of Sustainable Innovation of the Year for their brand bassike which specialises in sustainably sourced wardrobe essentials. Spell’s Elizabeth Abegg and Isabella Pennefather were awarded the People’s Choice award presented by Afterpay for their modern boho designs.

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