Jourdan Dunn sealed a rapid rise to supermodel status last night by winning the Model of the Year title at the British Fashion Awards.

Dunn, 18, was "spotted" in Primark in 2006 when there were few black models on magazine covers or the catwalk. She has since graced the covers of Pop, i-D, Vogue and Italian Vogue for an issue dedicated to black models, and been the first black model to appear on the catwalk for Prada in 10 years.

She has also challenged the lack of ethnic diversity in the industry: "London's not a white city... so why should our catwalks be so white? I go to castings and see several black and Asian girls, then I get to the show and look around there's just me and maybe one other coloured face."

Luella Bartley won Designer of the Year at the black tie event in central London; an award no doubt all the sweeter because the 35-year-old was beaten by Stella McCartney last year.

Christopher Bailey, the creative director of Burberry, won Menswear Designer of the Year for the second time running. Shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood won the newly created Emerging Talent Award for accessories, while Louise Goldin won the ready to wear equivalent, and Matthew Williamson won the best Red Carpet Designer accolade. The Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design award was presented to the milliner Stephen Jones.