Blog: Royal appointment for just-style

Joe Ayling | 13 June 2007

just-style was in the company of royalty yesterday (12 June) at the annual UK Fashion Export Awards.

HRH The Princess Royal presented the awards following a three-course lunch at the Landmark Hotel in London, for those nominees calm enough to eat.

Looking around the room at such awards is a bit like going window-shopping with living mannequins, and each designer at the event was proud to brandish their own goods. In the midst of such glamour, my journalist-style suit seemed a little boring, despite having “gambled” on a stripey tie.

Aside from the royal presence, my highlight of the afternoon resulted from the seating plan, which placed me between two nominees with fascinating business stories. Orsola De Castro, a Venetian pioneer of sustainable fashion with the brand From Somewhere, and the founder of Goat Fashion were two ladies with successful export credentials to the US and Italy.

When a colleague asked Goat’s Jane Lewis if she had practiced a speech prior to winning the New Exporter of the year prize, she replied that such an exercise would serve no purpose, as she never wins anything. Well Jane, if you are reading, you have now and if your women’s wear brand continues to attract attention from the likes of Elle Macpherson, Sienna Miller, Keira Knightly, Jemima Khan, Erin O’Connor, Gwyneth Paltrow and Nicole Kidman, then you could soon become a celebrity yourself.

Princess Anne, longstanding (no pun intended) president of UK Fashion Exports, said in her speech that she was keen to support the developing relationship between industry members and the role of IT. The organisation has just launched a new website, with product finders, a members-only section, briefing notes and legal topics.

To find out more about the winners of each award, click here for just-style’s coverage of the event.

Joe Ayling, news editor

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