In 2018, The Queen shocked the world when she made a surprise guest appearance at London Fashion Week to present designer Richard Quinn with the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. Taking a seat on the front row next to Anna Wintour – with a special cushion placed on her seat – this momentous occasion, which created a frenzy during and after the show, marked the beginning of the award in her name.

A lot has changed since then, and just a matter of weeks after London welcomed a new King in the hallowed halls of Westminster Abbey, for his first public appearance King Charles presented the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, on behalf of his late mother, to Foday Dumbuya of Labrum London.

Foday has been telling the unheard stories of immigrants with his collections that draw from motifs of travel and his own experiences growing up between continents. His most recent F/W 2023 show was met with mass appraisal, held in the historic Brixton Village, where music was blaring, shop doors were flung open and a sense of community erupted from the venue. Born in Sierra Leone, Foday took an emotional bow and finished his speech to a room packed full of press and industry folk with a poignant message, “things like this don't happen to people where I’m from, so please never stop dreaming." His moving speech was followed by a live performance by Kwaye and Balimaya Project, his friends and collaborators. 

The Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design was initiated to recognise the fashion industry's role in society. Spotlighting young design talents who push new ideas forward and break the mould through innovative practices and design that shed light on new perspectives, the award gives those brands bubbling up at the surface of the industry well-deserved global recognition.

Last year, designer and choreographer Saul Nash took home the prize, at an event in The Design Museum. Known for his work that uses techy materials Saul delves into heritage, performance and technology to create elevated sportswear that opens new narratives around identity, masculinity, and class. Following the inaugural award in February 2018, other winners have included: Bethany Williams in 2019, Rosh Mahtani in 2020 and Priya Ahluwalia in 2021, all of whom have been met with great success since receiving the accolade.

Foday's success has only just begun and we for one are excited to see where he takes his thought-provoking work that beautifully unites British tailoring with West African flair to offer something new, exciting and alive.

Find out more here…