Founder Eshita Kabra-Davies shares her thoughts and experiences from her first ever BFA's last night, with a fresh perspective as a new member of the fashion industry.
Last night I attended my first British Fashion Awards with my friends who, like me, are recent outsiders to the fashion world. For anyone that doesn't know, I was working in Finance until last month, when I took By Rotation full time and therefore entered the fashion industry. Since I've never watched the Oscars and unfamiliar with many awards shows, I was unsure of what to expect...
It was great fun but also kept me on my toes. Fun because there were so many lovely people around all dressed up and happy! On my toes because I couldn't help but feel the pressure to dress in haute couture, have great seats and generally act perfectly - I wore clothes I've owned since my university days, and no, they weren't designer. I did however rent a Shrimps bag and Charlotte Olympia heels, both from the app!
The awards ceremony was very high budget and everyone in the audience was so passionate about the nominees being announced (I personally was rooting for Simon Porte of Jacquemus every single time). You could feel the passion and love for the industry and its pioneers in the atmosphere and it was infectious. The closing by Giorgio Armani had a spooky science fiction feel to it with Swan Lake playing in the background. It gave me chills - in a good way!
While we were thrilled (and a little starstruck) by how many big ticket celebrities and designers were in the same space as us (BadGirlRiRi, near yet so far...), the lack of diversity was made explicit during Adut Akech's speech as she received the Model of the Year award.
Adut's speech in particular resonated with me. A Sudanese refugee "who comes from nothing'' telling us to chase our dreams. Whether that’s to become a model, an actress or a doctor, it doesn't matter and we should never let where we come from hold us back, regardless of what people say and treat us. I must admit I shed a tear, given how passionate I have always been about diversity in all its forms. The issue of course felt ever so real being in the presence of the biggest names in the industry and feeling so underrepresented. A quick glance down the red carpet upon arrival and later in the hall proved this as I noticed there weren't many people who looked like me...
Dipping my toes into “the fashion event of the year” was a great way to reflect on what I stand for, and how I can use my experiences as an outsider to make By Rotation a truly forward-thinking fashion disruptor, inclusive to all.
Thank you to all the lovely people I’ve met in this space so far. We’ll see you again next year!
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