The annual prize, now in its fourth yr, was introduced by the Queen’s daughter-in-law Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, throughout a digital occasion at London Style Week on Tuesday.
An announcement issued by the British Style Council (BFC), the group chargeable for working with the royal family to pick a winner, referred to as the younger designer a “progressive pondering chief and agent for change.”
Ahluwalia launched her namesake model in 2018, having first attracted business consideration for her photobook “Candy Lassi.” The e book, launched alongside a graduate assortment for her masters diploma in menswear, chronicled the designer’s eye-opening journeys to Nigeria and India, the place she witnessed the dimensions of the second-hand garment business and the amount of waste clothes generated by shoppers.
Piles of clothes in Panipat photographed in ‘Candy Lassi’ Credit score: Priya Ahluwalia
In an interview with CNN final yr, the London-based designer, who’s of each Indian and Nigerian heritage, mentioned her curiosity in sustainable design was piqued throughout a visit to see household in Lagos. There, she seen market merchants carrying obscure objects of clothes from abroad, equivalent to a T-shirt from the 2012 London Marathon.
“I used to be intrigued and dug deeper, transferring ahead on a hunch that the presence of those textiles heralded a bigger story,” she mentioned.
Her analysis led her to town of Panipat, north of Delhi, which serves as an enormous hub for garment recycling and is sometimes called the “cast-off capital” of the world. “I used to be fascinated and in addition fearful about how a lot we throw away,” Ahluwalia mentioned. “Visiting Panipat was life-changing and I made a decision to start out my model with sustainable ideas.”
“Candy Lassi” paired photos of individuals sitting amongst piles of outdated clothes in recycling amenities with studio pictures of fashions carrying her personal avant-garde types.
Ahluwalia’s menswear makes use of classic and deadstock materials, mixing sportswear with extra classically tailor-made silhouettes. Her modern method has seen her win a number of notable awards in recent times, together with the H&M Design Prize in 2019. She was additionally considered one of eight manufacturers to collectively win the distinguished LVMH Prize in 2020.
Ahluwalia Autumn-Winter 2020 Credit score: Dominika Scheibinger
Pictures continues to play an necessary function in Ahluwalia’s work, which melds conceptual design with narrative storytelling — usually with a eager give attention to supplies and folks. “I really feel extra like a multidisciplinary artistic … I additionally like the thought of storytelling and making a world for anybody who’s ,” she mentioned.
Throughout London Style Week final June, Ahluwalia revealed one other e book, “Jalebi,” which additionally drew on her personal heritage. Working with photographer Laurence Ellis, she put West London’s Punjabi group entrance and middle by documenting day by day life within the various Southall neighborhood. Based on Ahluwalia, whose mom is Punjabi, the ensuing photos had been a tribute to multiculturalism in Britain.
“Brexit had simply occurred in addition to the Windrush scandal and there was an more and more hostile atmosphere for ethnic minorities,” she defined. “I needed to create a bit of labor that celebrated the wonder in range.”
Nonetheless from Ahluwalia’s digital exhibition and e book ‘Jalebi’ Credit score: Ahluwalia/Laurence Ellis
A glance from Ahluwalia Autumn-Winter 2021 Credit score: Laurence Ellis
The Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design acknowledges the style business’s function in society and diplomacy. It honors younger designers whose work makes a optimistic impression by way of sustainable practices or group engagement.
BFC chief govt Caroline Rush praised Ahluwalia’s efforts to provide again to communities round London and overseas, calling her an “inspiration” to younger British designers.
Throughout the digital presentation of the award on Tuesday, Ahluwalia described the win as “surreal,” including “it is pretty to be acknowledged for doing one thing you’re keen on.”
Richard Quinn received the inaugural award in 2018, with the Queen making a shock look within the entrance row at his London Style Week present to current the award. Rosh Mahtani, founder of jewellery model Alighieri, and clothier Bethany Williams are the prize’s different earlier winners.
London Style Week runs Friday 19 to Tuesday 23 February, and is completely digital this season because of the ongoing pandemic.
(High picture: A portrait of Priya Ahluwalia by Laurence Ellis)