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Labrum London wins Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design 2023

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Image: BFC by Darren GerrishGetty Images; King Charles III and Labrum London

Labrum London founder and creative director Foday Dumbuya was presented with the annual Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design by King Charles III at an event celebrating the impact yesterday, May 18.

The annual award was launched in 2018 to recognise the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy and “to spotlight talented young designers who make a difference to society through either sustainable practices or community engagement”.

The inaugural accolade was awarded to Richard Quinn when Queen Elizabeth II visited London Fashion Week in February 2018. Since then, it has also been presented to Bethany Williams, Rosh Mahtani of Alighieri, Priya Ahluwalia, and last year to Saul Nash.

This year’s recipient is Labrum London, founded by Sierra Leone-born Dumbuya in 2015, which has become known for its representation of West African culture through a modern lens. The brand’s philosophy is centred on creating directional and purposeful pieces, fusing West African culture with traditional British heritage through reinterpreted, functional silhouettes and distinctive prints.

Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design 2023 winner revealed

Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, said in a statement: “We are delighted to announce Labrum London as this year’s recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design as we celebrate the impact of the BFC Foundation over the last year.

“Foday’s designs beautifully bridge the story of his West African heritage with his life in London and the history of British tailoring. His works speaks to what is so unique and compelling about the U.K. as a leader in creative and fashion talent.”

The award was presented at 180 Strand at an event celebrating the BFC Foundation, which in the financial year 2022/2023 delivered 1.2 million pounds to designer talent from scholars to designer businesses. 1.1 million pounds was paid via the BFC’s grant-giving initiatives, including scholarships and talent support schemes BFC NewGen, BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund, BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund and BFC Fashion Trust. While 139,200 pounds was paid to designers through brand partnership collaborations secured by the BFC for its charity, the BFC Foundation, and its talent support initiatives.

BFC Foundation
British Fashion Council
Labrum London
Queen Elizabeth II Award