Brits are still popular in Paris, the 'it girl' model is having a moment, and First Ladies are now key in setting trends.


At the British Fashion Awards in December, Burberry's Christopher Bailey snatched the main prize as Designer of the Year. It was a double win for the British label since Burberry also bagged the Designer Brand award. Bailey recently made waves by taking the luxury label to new social networking heights, including the interactive Art of the Trench site and enhanced Facebook activity, which many agree is the way forward in fashion. Other big winners of the night included rock star offspring Georgia May Jagger who beat out Daisy Lowe as Model of the Year and US Vogue's Grace Coddington, the secret star of fashion documentary, The September Issue, who was honored with the Isabella Blow Award.

Also in December, Mark Fast, Mary Katrantzou, Meadham Kirchhoff, and Peter Pilotto received the prestigious annual NewGeneration sponsorship. Having long been fashion insiders' favorites, this award - which previously launched the careers of the likes of Christopher Kane, Gareth Pugh or Giles Deacon - officially makes them 'the ones to watch.'


The first-ever CFDA Popular Vote Award was handed out to Ralph Lauren in June. Other big winners at the most important fashion awards of the US included Rodarte whose creators, sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy, were named the best women's wear designers of the year, and US first lady Michelle Obama who was honored for her commitment to boosting young American labels.

French emerging designer Sophie Theallet was named the winner of this year's CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund support scheme in New York November 16.

Footwear News, an offshot of Women's Wear Daily, announced the best in 2009's shoe design in November. While Giuseppe Zanotti winning the main prize, Designer of the Year, seems perfectly legitimate, the choice of Steve Madden Ltd. as Company of the Year might come as a surprise to many, since the brand recently got mainly negative publicity concerning copyright issues.


US designer, Alexander Wang won the 10th Swiss Textiles Award 2009, presented on November 12, in Zurich. The €100,000 prize is one of the most celebrated fashion awards for young designers. Previous winners of the award include Rodarte (2008) Haider Ackermann (2004) and Raf Simons (2003). Wang was previously honored with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award.

The Hyères festival in the South of France, which awards the most promising talent in fashion and photography, praised Latvian duo Marite Mastina and Rolands Peterkops who took home two of the four fashion awards. Swarovski's Crystallized award, carrying a value of €15,000, was shared by the Norwegian Harald Lunde Helgesen and Simon-Pierre Toussaint from Belgium, who also won the public vote.

Also in France, British designer Giles Deacon won the respected ANDAM fashion award, a €160,000 endowment that is meant to help young talent show during Paris Fashion Week. Deacon joined a long list of talented Brits including Gareth Pugh, Alexander McQueen, and Stella McCartney, that left their breeding ground London to show their collections in the French capital.


South African David Tlale and Nigerian Tiffany Amber took home the prize for Designer of the Year at the Arise Africa Fashion Awards in Johannesburg, gaining them a spot at Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week.