Mert & Marcus to be honoured with The Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at The Fashion Awards 2018 in partnership with Swarovski

15 November 2018
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The British Fashion Council today announces that Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott will receive the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at The Fashion Awards 2018 in partnership with Swarovski. Celebrating their 25th year anniversary this year, Mert and Marcus will be honoured at the ceremony on Monday 10th December at the Royal Albert Hall in London for their invaluable contribution to the global fashion industry.

Since creating their first collaborative images in 1994, Mert and Marcus have become one of fashion’s most sought-after photographer duos. Often described as “one of the names to define the birth of digital fashion photography”, the duo has helped shape the global image of renowned brands such as Calvin Klein, Givenchy, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Missoni, Miu Miu, Roberto Cavalli and Versace and worked with prestigious magazines such as LOVE Magazine, Self Service, Vanity Fair, Vogue and W Magazine. Over the years, the pair have shot many iconic campaigns and editorials with celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Gisele Bundchen, Kate Moss, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Naomi Campbell and Rihanna.

Their photographs encompass a wide range of influences and styles. Often inspired by fantasies, dreams and beauty within dark characters, they are renowned for their use of digitized augmentation of images and their fascination for strong, powerful and confident women or as they like to describe them “powerful women, women with a meaning, you-don’t-have-to-talk-too much-to-tell-who-you-are kind of women”. Not afraid of provocation, their imagery often focuses on the human body, with a unique style and storytelling, which makes women feel comfortable, confident and glorifies their strong characters. 

Caroline Rush, BFC Chief Executive commented: “We are thrilled to present the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator to Mert and Marcus and acknowledge them for their remarkable contribution to the global fashion industry. Mert and Marcus have a unique way of portraying glamour, youth and fantasy, making them one of the forces of our industry. We look forward to celebrating with them, their clients and friends in London in December” 

Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board commented: “It is our great pleasure to recognize Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott’s inspirational creativity and impact with the 2018 Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator. Resonating throughout the industry and far beyond, Mert and Marcus’s unique blend of vision, energy and innovation has created some of the most iconic images of our time.” 

Born in Turkey and Britain respectively, Mert and Marcus met at a party in the early 90s. Sharing their love of fashion, the duo soon after started building their names in the industry. Their portfolio, which features photography and film, typically includes hyper saturated and colourful imagery with a surreal tone, a contrast to the black and white photography dominating the fashion scene in the early 90s. With their innovation in digital photography and over two decades in the business, the duo has revolutionised the landscape of fashion photography.

In 2015, Mert and Marcus were awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society for their incredible work in the world of photography and in 2016, the duo’s first exhibition which featured 18 works, was held at Phillips auction house, in London, before traveling to Paris. Their achievements also include but are not limited to an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, a 400-page retrospective book released by Taschen this year, Kate Moss’ 60th anniversary Playboy cover and the 2006 Pirelli Calendar featuring a cast of incredible women including Jennifer Lopez.

The Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator recognises the very best innovators and creatives in fashion, celebrating invaluable contributions that have changed the entire fashion landscape. With a discerning eye and incessant drive, the recipient of the Award has brought designers’ creations to life and helped create worlds within brands. Their dedication to the craft has garnered legions of fans and their incredible body of work has already left an indelible mark on the entire industry. Previous winners of the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator include Pat McGrath, Nick Knight OBE, Edward Enninful OBE, Lady Amanda Harlech and Professor Louise Wilson OBE to name only a few.

The Fashion Awards is the main fundraiser for the British Fashion Council (BFC), a not for profit organisation focused on promoting excellence in British fashion and supporting the future pipeline of creative talent. As part of their continued and generous support of The Fashion Awards 2018, Swarovski has pledged a £300,000 donation to the BFC Education Foundation in advance of this year’s event.

The BFC’s work is achieved through a range of charitable initiatives which focus on education, business and mentoring schemes that support talent from school level and emerging designers to fashion start-ups and established brands. In 2017, the BFC raised over £2.2 million for its charities and business support initiatives and in the twelve months to March 2018 has allocated £1.1 million in grants to designer businesses to further support these efforts. 

General tickets are available via Ticketmaster.

The generosity and commitment of our sponsors is more vital than ever. Please help us by acknowledging our Principal Sponsor SWAROVSKI for their support of The Fashion Awards 2018. Official Sponsors American Express, Bird in Hand, Digital Domain, Getty Images, Lavazza Coffee, Mercedes-Benz, Rosewood London and Slingsby Gin.