Paint It Black: The British Fashion Awards Announce 2018 Nominees, and Black Models Dominate

Adut Akech attends the Swarovski Rainbow Paradise Spring Summer 18 Collection Launch on Nov. 24, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.
Photo: Brook Mitchell (Getty Images)

Black beauty continues to disrupt and redefine the fashion industry, this time dominating the Model of the Year category at the upcoming British Fashion Awards, which announced its nominees on Tuesday. Contenders for the title at this year’s ceremony, which will take place on Dec. 10 at London’s Royal Albert Hall, include 2017 winner Adwoa Aboah; America’s Next Top Model alum-turned-supermodel Winnie Harlow and up-and-comer Adut Akech, who wowed fashion followers this year by closing multiple shows for Chanel and Valentino, among others.


The three join second-generation models Bella Hadid and Kaia Gerber, meaning three-fifths of this year’s Model of the Year nominees are black. It’s not the first time black models have been in the majority or won the category. Aboah scored the win last year, while Jourdan Dunn took home the title in 2015. Still, it makes the coveted category all the more exciting to watch this year.

Also in the mix? 2017 Urban Luxe winner Virgil Abloh, whose Off-White label is once again nominated in the category, as well as for Brand of the Year. In his first year at the helm of Louis Vuitton menswear, Abloh is also a contender for Designer of the Year.

The British Fashion Awards are produced by the British Fashion Council (BFC) in partnership with Swarovski. In a press briefing, Stephanie Phair, chair of the BFC, said of the nominees:

“Each and every one of them is being recognized for their creative excellence and innovation.”


Nadja Swarovski, member of the Swarovski executive board, added, “Representing fashion’s most inspiring emerging and established talents, this list is the perfect showcase for the energy and diversity of the industry today.”

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Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.