Best in show: The Walpole British Luxury Awards 2018

Words by
Charlotte McManus

20th November 2018

Taking place at The Dorchester, the starry annual awards ceremony saw some of luxury’s top brands scoop well-deserved accolades

The 17th annual edition of the Walpole British Luxury Awards was a star-studded affair celebrating the luxury industry’s standout individuals, brands and experiences. Hosted at the elegant Ballroom at The Dorchester, Monday’s dreary November rain was no deterrent to the event’s some-375 guests, who turned up in their droves donning smart black-tie attire.

After a Laurent-Perrier champagne reception and delectable three-course dinner of gin-and-tonic salmon, roast duck with sweet potato puree, and passionfruit and mango dacquoise, Walpole CEO Helen Brocklebank gave a short speech. Then, it was time for world-famous actor Jason Isaacs to take to the stage to host the awards ceremony – donning a tux by Walpole member Henry Poole & Co, naturallement. Some of the top prizes included Luxury Legend, which footwear designer Manolo Blahnik received in recognition of his stellar 40-year career, alongside British Luxury Overseas, as won by Fortnum & Mason. Luxury travel specialist Belmond scooped the coveted British Luxury Brand award, while the V&A’s Fashioned from Nature exhibition won Luxury With a Heart.

Following the awards, attendees enjoyed an after-party hosted by the Dovetail Agency Cocktail Club, in which Royal Salute whisky and The Lakes Explorer gin and tonics – not to mention the ever-present champers – were enjoyed against DJ sets and a live sax session.

The Walpole British Luxury Award Winners:


British Luxury Brand (in association with Laurent-Perrier)

Belmond, hotels & luxury travel


Luxury Legend (in association with The Times Luxx & Style)

Manolo Blahnik, footwear designer


Luxury Leader (in association with G.F. Smith)

Alison Loehnis, President of Net-a-Porter & Mr Porter


Luxury Maker of the Year (in association with Elite Associates)

Mulberry, leather bags, accessories, womenswear & travel collections


British Luxury Overseas (in association with Forter)

Fortnum & Mason, luxury department store


Creative Collaboration (in association with LetsBab)

Royal Ballet x Erdem, costume designs for international celebrations of the Leonard Bernstein centenary


Luxury with a Heart (in association with MyLoveAffair)

V&A: Fashioned from Nature, an exhibition exploring the relationship between style and the natural world


Cultural Contribution (in association with Wearisma)

Natalie Livingstone & Tina Brown: Cliveden Literary Festival


The Brands of Tomorrow Award for Emerging Talent (in association with Mishcon de Reya)

DeMellier, handcrafted bags. Luke Edward Hall, interiors. Rory Dobner, illustration & homeware. The Vampire’s Wife, womenswear.

For more details about Walpole, visit