All eyes are on Priya Ahluwalia. The Nigerian-Indian and London-based menswear designer won the prestigious LVMH Prize in 2020, recently took part in GucciFest, collaborated with Adidas on a new pair of sneakers, an awardee of the British Fashion Awards and now, is the fourth recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, which honours young designers who have been making a positive impact through sustainable practices and community work.
With the UK still in lockdown, the award was presented by the Queen's daughter-in-law, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex on behalf of the Queen over Zoom during the closing of this week's London Fashion Week. The British Fashion Council (BFC), the organisation responsible for selecting the winner together with the royal household has nothing but praises for the emerging designer, calling her a "progressive thinking leader and agent for change." They also praised her efforts to give back to the communities around London and overseas as an "inspiration" to other British designers.
After gaining attention for her photobook, Sweet Lassi, Ahluwalia launched her eponymous brand in 2018. The photobook that put her into the spotlight was released alongside a collection for her master's degree in menswear and showcased her pilgrimage trip to her ancestral homes—Nigeria and India—which spark the interest behind her namesake label. Ahluwalia applies traditional textile techniques to vintage and deadstock fabrics for her streetwear collection, giving them new life while both staying sustainability-focused and showcasing her Nigerian and Indian heritage.