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London companies take 6 of the top prizes

London, 5 June 2008 - Winners of the UK Fashion Export Awards 2008 presented today in London by HRH The Princess Royal span companies with more than 220 years of history to those who have just started on the export ladder and are based in London, Devon, Matlock , Galashiels and Brighton.

The top prize – the Gold Award for Exporter of the Year, sponsored by Icelandic bank Landsbanki - went to Orla Kiely, the London-based plc. The Export Personality of the Year was won by Joseph Ettedgui, founder of the Joseph shops.

Orla Kiely, the Dublin-born textiles specialist, first hit the headlines in the mid ‘90s when she was commissioned by Harrods to produce a range of hats following her finale spot on the graduation catwalk of the Royal College of Art. Since then her signature stem print has appeared on fashion products ranging from clothing to china and chocolates. Orla Kiely’s retail empire includes new stores in Paris and Hong Kong and its website attracts shoppers from 14 countries.

For more than three decades, Joseph Ettedgui has been a well-known figure on the international fashion circuit and has done much to create a positive perception of the UK fashion industry.

The other London based winners were:

Lingerie and Beachwear: Amoralia, specialists in luxury maternity lingerie.
Stars such as Toni Collette and supermodel Karen Elson are fans of the brand.

Women’s Accessories: Sam Ubhi has notched up 20 years in the business, beginning with luxury handmade jewellery and subsequently expanding into bags.

Womenswear: Ariella, one of the UK’s leading names for cocktail, evening and special occasion wear since the ‘60s

New Exporter :

Chris Liu and Tibor Matyas, founders of Chris & Tibor, met while working for Burberry Prorsum and launched their English made bag business in 2006.

Other winners were:

Men’s Accessories: Brighton based denisonboston, whose collection includes cufflinks, tie pins and watches.

Men’s Fashion: Derbyshire-based John Smedley combines more than 220 years’ experience in knitwear, yet remains an innovative exporter of fine knitwear, made in the UK.

Ethical Fashion: Galashiels based Eribé, headed by Rosemary Eribé, produces 100% undyed Scottish knitwear as well as designs created by 100 handknitters. Recycling and reuse has been a matter of course since the company started in 1986.

Children’s Fashion: Devon-located Emile et Rose, the gift-orientated babywear company that uses Nottingham lace combined with Victorian-inspired styling. Every item is a complete accessorised outfit, sold on a handmade wooden hanger with a free gift box.

“British companies are having to be even more creative both with their collections and their marketing to grow their exports year on year, but our Award winners and finalists demonstrate it can be done,” confirms Paul Alger, executive director, UK Fashion Exports. “Membership of UK Fashion Exports is increasing as more companies are looking to us to provide the expertise to help them sell overseas.”

Prizes included stands at leading UK and overseas fashion shows, financial support and global trade advice worth £20,000 provided by FedEx.

The Awards were hosted by comedian Fred MacAulay.

Ends

Note to Editors:

UK Fashion Exports is an independent trade association supported by its members, offering practical help to British exporters as well as to overseas buyers, agents and press. Membership is open to UK-based manufacturers, designers and retailers of apparel and accessories.
Apparel exports are estimated at £3bn a year and represent one of the most creative sectors within the UK economy.

Past winners of the Awards include: Aquascutum, Bellville Sassoon Lorcan Mullany, Ben Sherman, Berlei, Rose Marie Bravo of Burberry, Dents, Eskandar, figleaves.com, Frank Usher, Gossard, Janet Reger, Jeffrey Rogers, John Smedley, La Petite Salope, Lezley George, Links of London, Mulberry, Murray Allan, Orla Kiely, Panache Lingerie, Sara Berman, Speedo, Start-Rite, The Duffer of St George, Vivienne Westwood and Zufi Alexander.

For further information please contact:

Linda Laderman @ Laderman PR
Tel: 020 7436 6676/07802 501913
Email: lindal@ladermanpr.co.uk

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Laderman PR in the following categories: Retail & Fashion, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.