Fida announces the winners of the 2021 Fashion Illustration Awards


Fida, the global online awards for promoting illustration and fashion design, announced its 2021 winners this weekend, selected from nearly 1,000 entries from 101 countries. A preselection of 100 artists was communicated in mid-March, a quarter of whom became finalists. The contest judges were led by Fida brand ambassadors, Nuno da Costa, fashion illustrator for Vogue Portugal, and Francesco Lo Iacono, London-based fashion illustrator who reports Fashion Week for The official. They were joined in the panel by professionals from the sector, Marcos Batuecas from Lacoste, Lucy Lyon from Tom Ford, Antonio Colomboni from Toilet paper magazine and Fraser Clark from Wallpaper*, with renowned illustrators, Chris Gambrell, Tina Berning and Clement Louis.

Patrick Morgan, founder of Fida, updated on the winners via Instagram rather than at a glittering party at a lavish London hotel, which was how the winners were celebrated in the pre-pandemic years. FashionUnited spoke with Morgan to get his thoughts on this year’s submissions and the return of fashion illustration to the industry dialogue despite the hardships the pandemic has inflicted.

The criteria are very simple. Is the job interesting and does the job have something new to say? Is there a good understanding of the design, composition, marking, quality of the end result and technique? Is the work relevant to today’s world? And is it fresh? Did it capture your eye and your imagination, causing you to stop to watch?

Everything was very tight this year because the level of submission was very high, with a range of different techniques and approaches to represent the image of fashion. We have already had clear winners in some categories, but the selection of the winner may involve a bit of debate at the end.

Judge, Francesco Lo Iacono: I have had the honor of being Fida Ambassador from the very beginning and I am more than happy and proud to see how fashion illustrators continue to create such powerful images. Fida is pushing fashion artists around the world to rethink the impact of illustration within and outside the fashion industry. I can see the amount of time, research, hard work, and creativity behind each entry. Fida celebrates not only the winners, but all those who continue to challenge fashion illustration and its possibilities.

Morgan: I think that statement really captures the essence of the Fida Awards. Fida opens the discussion to a new dialogue with fashion imagery through drawing and painting. We want her to be re-understood in a new capacity, to have deeper critical thinking. Through the introduction of Fida’s monthly conferences, we hope to re-inform the industry and move it to a new space where the commercial / artistic market really looks at work through a deeper lens. Fashion illustration is not a supplement to the process but is an integral part of the brand vibe or the vibe of a designer’s collection.

Fida has created a real honest community of fashion image designers who are now part of a big family. We love to see the growth and some of the artists, since entering or winning, have really become something much bigger, which is fantastic. Fida is building new spaces and platforms to help fashion artists have more control over their vision through curated portfolios posted on our members’ website.

In January, Fida released The Fible, a luxury book showcasing the emerging talents of 2021 for brands, businesses and fashion lovers to browse while seeking inspiration or for artists to commission.

Each year there are four category winners and one overall winner. The Cover Award which reinvents a magazine cover went to the poetic and pictorial imagination of a The official cover by Martina Cambrini; the Moment Award, which celebrates an artist’s ability to create a work that resonates and captures our collective imagination, was awarded to Manon Cardin. The Icon Award celebrating a figure who changed the industry was won by Seungwon Hong for his painting by Karl Lagerfeld displaying a dynamic experimental brush. The Muse Prize rewards the special relationship between designers and those who inspire them, and the unanimous winner in this category is Carmen Vega Ruigómez for her painting of Adut Akeche. This year’s big winner, who got the most votes by far, revealed Morgan, and whose play really stood out for its composition and interesting lines was Manon Cardin.

works presented by Fida: Header, Carmen Vega Ruigómez, followed in order by Manon Cardin, Seungwon Hong, Martina Cabrini

Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry.

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