Gift Focus inc Attire Accessories - January/February 2023

BRAND & LIFESTYLE AWARDS 2023 OPEN FOR ENTRIES Entries for the Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards (B&LLAs) 2023 are now officially open – with next year seeing the event moving to a new venue, as well as introducing a new category. The event – now in its eighth year – will take place on Thursday 27 April 2023, at a lavish afternoon event at The Royal Lancaster Hotel, Lancaster Terrace, London. Over 500 retailers, licensees, brand owners and representatives are expected to attend. The deadline for nominations and entries across all categories is Wednesday 8 March 2023. The entry and nomination process for all categories is free and via online submission – all the forms can be accessed from the dedicated B&LLAs website by clicking here. The B&LLAs 2023 will look to reward brand and lifestyle licensing activity which has taken place in the UK between 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2022, across Product, Retail and Property categories. In addition, the Brand Ambassador Award will also be presented to a special individual (brand owner, licensor, retailer, licensee or supplier), acknowledging their contribution to the brand licensing sector. This year will also welcome a new accolade: The Brand and Lifestyle Licensing Rising Star Award – sponsored by Brand Licensing Europe’s Retail Mentoring Programme. The new award recognises and rewards excellence among those ‘new to the brand licensing sector’ in the UK who have shown real potential in the continued evolution of the sector. It is open to all young professionals aged 35 or under (on 27 April 2023) with a maximum of five years working experience in the brand and lifestyle licensing sector. “We’re delighted to sponsor this new category at the B&LLAs. BLE’s Retail Mentoring Programme is all about showcasing the best of brand licensing to retailers who are either new to their role or new to licensing,” commented Laura Freedman-Dagg, head of retail, Brand Licensing Europe. “Over the years we’ve seen some exceptional people come through the programme, many of whom have gone on to brilliant roles in all areas of licensing. It’s a real honour to bring fresh talent into the industry and a rising star category couldn’t be better aligned with the Retail Mentoring Programme. This year we’re excited to bring a group of retail mentees to the awards to take part in a celebration of best-in-class brand licensing.” Moda puts the spotlight on footwear, announces design collaboration with De Montfort University Moda, which has become an integral fashion destination at Spring Fair and takes place from 5th – 8th February 2023 at NEC Birmingham, has announced a collaboration with De Montfort University with a design competition for final year BA (Hons) Footwear Design students. The initiative showcases incredible young talent and the future of footwear design. All 16 of the students have been invited to display their innovative designs at Moda and from nine finalists the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on Sunday 5th February. Visitors to the show will also be given the opportunity to vote for their favourite design and the design with the most votes will receive the Buyer’s Choice Award. Alejandra Campos, Event Director, Moda says, “We are delighted to collaborate with De Montfort University supporting the local talent and the future designers to the footwear industry. The standards were very high and the innovation and creativity from the students is inspiring. I can’t wait to see their work on display at Moda and give these unbelievably talented designers the opportunity to show their work to a global audience.” The nine finalists are: Baldeep Nangla (Bobby), Woosung Kim, Gyoungryoung Kwak (Lynn), Cameron Murdoch, Jong Won Kim, Madison Harwood-Scott, Jemma Swales, Jihwi Ahn, and Alfie Payne. Their project brief was based on the Quagga, an ill proportioned cross between a horse and a zebra that was native to South Africa and unfortunately hunted to extinction in the 1880’s. The Quagga was one of nature’s hybrids that adapted its size, camouflage and natural survival capability with its surroundings. Incredibly, the Quagga is considered to be a worthy candidate to reverse engineer its genetic makeup and therefore ‘another’ biological ‘Quagga project’ is in progress to create the breed again, and hopefully reintroduce back into the wild. The Quagga evolved through specific conditions, so students were tasked to create footwear that also evolves through certain conditions and the framework was designed to disrupt the classic creative process. The Quagga was not able to maintain its own sustainability, but students could incorporate this within their product design if appropriate. Nanette Westberg-Brown BA(Hons), PGCAP, FHEA, Senior Lecturer for Footwear Design & Programme Leader for BA Footwear Design says, “The Quagga project is a unique concept that allows students to really push their design boundaries and explore niche footwear theories and innovations. The results are equally as unique as the brief! The work that the students have produced is a testament to their commitment of footwear studies; having started the programme during the pandemic and resulting lockdowns, they have overcome the challenges of facing reduced access to our facilities and practical prototyping, to excel in their creativity and design ideations. I am incredibly proud of what they have achieved so far, and I’m excited to see where their future careers within the industry takes them.” As the leading destination for footwear in the UK, Moda in February 23 will also present the industry’s most sought-after brands including Fly London, XTi, Refresh, Carmela, Chatham, Mustang, Alpe, Thomas Blunt, Lunar, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Anne Michelle, Top Staka, Lazy Dogz, and many more. and 19 NEWS & EVENTS