What a night! The Walpole Awards for Excellence 2012

The eleventh annual Walpole British Luxury Awards for Excellence, in association with Coutts, were held on Monday 19th November at Banqueting House.

Sponsors, judges, nominees, Walpole members and guests were welcomed with Laurent-Perrier Champagne, Chivas Regal cocktails and Chase Vodka shots alongside an exquisite array of canapés – from spoons of finest caviar to air-dried venison and truffles created by The Admirable Crichton – before taking their seats under the opulent Rubens-painted ceiling of the Main Hall.

After a welcome address from Walpole Chief Executive Julia Carrick – resplendent in flowing Alexander McQueen – and Coutts' chairman Michael Morley, the supremely talented Peter Manning, Concert Master of the Orchestra at the Royal Opera House, took to the stage to perform Paganini's Caprice No 24 - widely considered one of the most difficult pieces ever written for the solo violin.

After a stunningly beautiful performance, it was the turn of our host, actor and musician (and star of those 1980’s coffee adverts) Anthony Head to take to the stage and kick off the awards.

Walpole British Luxury is now delighted to announce that the 2012 Awards for Excellence winners are:

British Luxury Brand, Sponsored by Laurent-Perrier: 
Mulberry, accepted by Emma Hill, Creative Director

Best Emerging British Luxury Brand, Sponsored by Chase Vodka:
Orlebar Brown, accepted by Adam Brown, Founder

International Luxury Brand, Sponsored by McArthurGlen Group: 
Ferrari, accepted by Andrea Perrone, Senior Vice President

British Luxury Design Talent, Sponsored by Design Centre Chelsea Harbour: 
Gerry McGovern for Range Rover and Land Rover, accepted by Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer

British Cultural Excellence, Sponsored by The Admirable Crichton: 
Royal Academy of Arts, accepted by Charles Saumarez Smith, CEO and Christopher Le Brun, President

British Luxury Brand Online, Sponsored by Exley Hervey: 
Burberry, accepted by Sarah Manley, Chief Marketing Officer

British Luxury Brand Overseas, Sponsored by Virtuous Retail:
Jaguar, accepted by Tom Silk, Global Brand Experience Director

Best Luxury Service, Sponsored by Mishcon de Reya:
Brown’s Hotel, accepted by Sir Rocco Forte, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rocco Forte Hotels

Best Luxury Craftsmanship, Sponsored by Chivas Regal 25: 
Theo Fennell, accepted by Theo Fennell, Jewellery Designer and Founder

Corporate Social Responsibility, Sponsored by Family Bhive:
IWC Schaffhausen, accepted by Edwin Colella, Director of Marketing and Communications

All our winners were truly deserving of their accolades, and gave inspiring and gracious acceptance speeches.

After all the awards were presented, Ben Hughes, chairman of Walpole, took to the stage to introduce the Walpole Medals of Excellence. A video montage commemorating the amazing events of 2012 played out, highlighting the glorious Jubilee celebrations and Olympic Games – and set the scene to welcome our two Medal winners for 2012.

This year, we were honoured to recognise two outstanding individuals who exemplify all that is great about Britain and the Games: Gold-medal winning Olympic rower Katherine Grainger and Gold-medal winning Paralympic sprinter Jonnie Peacock.

Their appearance on stage was met with rapturous applause, before the two athletes were presented with their second gold medals of the year.

We were delighted to welcome over 500 leading figures from the British and international luxury industries attended the event, many of whom are from Walpole member companies. These include Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council; Jonathan Ackeroyd Managing Director of Alexander McQueen; Jonathan Heilbron, CEO of Thomas Pink; Alannah Weston, Creative Director of Selfridges; Stephen Alden, CEO of Maybourne Hotel Group; Gianluca Brozzetti, CEO of Roberto Cavalli; jewellery designer Stephen Webster; Barratt West, UK Chief Executive, Tiffany & Co; Harold Tilman CBE, former Chairman of British Fashion Council; HE Bernard Emié, French Ambassador to Great Britain; Annouskha Ducas, Jewellery Designer; founder of Browns Fashion Joan Burstein; Stephen Bayley; and model Jodie Kidd.

Thank you to all our supremely talented winners and nominees, knowledgeable and considered judges and nomination experts, and generous and supportive sponsors and partners. Without you, the Walpole 2012 Awards for Excellence would not have been possible. 

We look forward to what next year’s annual celebration of our truly unique industry brings.