The Dorchester Hotel in London exuded even more glitz than usual this month, if that’s even possible, hosting Walpole British Luxury Awards 2023. Le tout monde in British luxury – CEOs, creatives, marketers, media, influencers and celebrities – gathered in the Ballroom of the Dorch to enjoy an effervescent Laurent Perrier Champagne reception and a delicious dinner to celebrate this year’s winners. Presented by the actress Lydia West, the photo bulbs were flashing with the arrivals of Lady Amelia Spencer, Sabrina Elba, Gareth Pugh, illustrator David Downton, Charley Caseley-Hayford, Ozwald Boateng OBE, Bay Garnett, Eunice Olemode and June Sarpong OBE.
Celebrating British Luxury at Walpole Awards 2023
29th November 2023
The British luxury world gathered at The Dorchester to celebrate Walpole British Luxury Awards 2023. SPHERE’s Lisa Barnard reports on an evening brimming with talent, creativity and glamour and a constellation of prize-winning stars.
So who was the top winner of Walpole British Luxury Awards 2023?
Cutting to the chase, the top prize, British Luxury Brand of the Year, was won by Boodles. I could not have clapped harder. SPHERE and our parent company, ILN, has worked with Boodles for decades, so we know them pretty well. As a family-owned and run firm, they are dynamic, forward-looking, shrewd and fair. Boodles’ proposition is quite simply: consistently beautiful and covetable jewellery of the highest quality made by a family-run firm. The award was in recognition of Boodles' record-breaking financial year, its commitment to traceability, sustainable growth, and support of local communities in South Africa. Boodles launched a new campaign this year, with twin sisters Eliza and Amelia Spencer as the faces of the brand. So it was fitting that Lady Amelia Spencer presented the award on the evening. It doesn't always happen that the face of the campaign does the honours.
Boodles’ back story dates back to 1789 in Liverpool, but its designs, creativity and advertising campaigns chime with the times today. Behind this brand are some people with integrity – no rough diamonds there. They are entrusted to sell Patek Philippe watches, which says something. Congratulations to Michael and Nicholas Wainwright, James Amos and Jody Wainwright, and the entire Boodles team. The Directors were visibly chuffed by this award. They do not sit on their laurels; Michael Wainwright said on the evening, if I recall correctly, while he would not admit this to his wife, it was the best night of his life.
Who were the other winners of Walpole British Luxury Awards 2023?
Too many to mention all, here are SPHERE’s highlights:
Sunspel took home ‘Made in the UK’ Award, Anabela Chan received ‘Game-Changer Award’ and Matthew Cox won the first ever ‘Luxury in the Making Award’. The ‘Visionary Award,’ recognising an individual in the luxury sector with expertise throughout their career while inspiring others, was received by Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars as he prepares to step down. This paid tribute to the transformation the company has undergone during his 14-year tenure, including increasing annual worldwide sales from around 1,000 cars per year to over 6,000 in 2022.
The first of three Great Creative Briton awards, honouring creatives whose talent has enriched the cultural landscape in the UK, was presented to David Harewood OBE, actor, advocate and campaigner. Best known for his roles in big budget American productions such as Homeland, Supergirl and Blood Diamond, it’s his ground-breaking work creating essential conversations around race and mental health that have had social impact here in the UK.
Ozwald Boateng OBE was another presented with a Great Creative Briton award. Boateng became the youngest tailor on Savile Row at the age of 28, blending traditional British tailoring with his Ghanaian heritage. He was Creative Director of Menswear at Givenchy, created costumes for films, including James Bond and designed the new uniforms for British Airways. He has recently launched his first furniture collaboration with Italian brand Poltrona Frau.
The third to receive a Great Creative Briton award was Sonia Boyce OBE RA, the first black British female artist to have work purchased by The Tate, to be elected to the Royal Academy and selected to represent the UK at the Venice Biennale.
Neal’s Yard Remedies took home ‘Sustainable Luxury Brand of the Year’, recognised for its progress in applying sustainability best practice to all aspects of its business and its campaigning including its project to protect biodiversity and bee populations in the UK.
The ‘Artistic Pioneer’ Award went to the choreographer Wayne McGregor CBE, whose work spans some of the major international dance companies around the world and as Resident Choreographer at The Royal Ballet. McGregor is also Artistic Director of Dance at The Venice Biennale and a prolific collaborator with co-creators including Max Richter, Margaret Atwood, Radiohead, Olafur Eliasson, Tacita Dean, ABBA and Daniel Lee at Burberry.
What is the significance of Walpole British Luxury Awards?
Walpole’s Chief Executive Helen Brocklebank, queen of speechmakers, said: “It’s clear that the defining mix of arts and business is still the bedrock of luxury’s success. In a country renowned for its storytelling, every Walpole award has a tale to tell of individual triumphs of the talent, ingenuity, creativity and innovation of its people.”
Brocklebank pointed out that as the only event dedicated to celebrating the very best of Britain, the Walpole British Luxury Awards recognise the contribution luxury and high-end businesses make to the UK. The British luxury sector is worth over £48 billion and contributes to nearly 160,000 jobs to the UK economy.
Congratulations from SPHERE to all the winners of Walpole British Luxury Awards 2023 and our thanks to Walpole and ANM. For full details visit: