Sydney – Australian artist Ken Don has won the 2022 Australian Fashion Awards Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award, considered the industry’s pinnacle trophy, was one of seven Australian Fashion Awards presented at a luncheon at Sydney’s Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday.
A nationally acclaimed artist who has had more than 100 solo exhibitions in Australia and around the world, Donne, now 82, has retired from a successful career as a creative director at advertising agencies in New York, London and Sydney. In the year By 1980 he had devoted himself to painting full-time. Australian and lively, naive icons, and Sydney landmarks in particular, helped define the cultural zeitgeist of the 80s in Australia and proved a commercial gold mine, fueling the decade’s boom in Japanese tourism.
At a gallery in Sydney, Donne and his wife, Judy, began selling T-shirts and sweatshirts emblazoned with the prints, which proved popular. Expand into swimwear, resort wear, bedding and other home furnishings. By the end of the decade, they were operating 15 stores around the country.
Ken Don’s merchandise was not only a star in Olivia Newton-John’s 80s retail chain Koala Blue, which operates in America, Asia and Europe, he also designed the brand’s logo. His many licensing arrangements, during his lifetime, included deals with Mervyn’s Department Stores and Bart Jacobs in California.
Designer of the Year at this year’s awards was won by sibling designer Camilla Freeman-Topper and Mark Freeman of the Camilla & Mark label.
Designer of the Year was won by Leslie Jermanus of Alemais label after taking home the 2022 National Designer Award in July.
Designer of the Year was awarded to Laura Thompson, founder of Aboriginal social enterprise and fashion label The Gaps.
Sarah Munro and Robert Sebastian Grinkofsky of the Sarah & Sebastian Jewelry brand received the Sustainable Innovation of the Year award. Long focused on sustainability, the duo recently pledged to donate 1 million Australian dollars, or $667,000 at current exchange rates, to ocean conservation efforts over the next decade.
The winner of the Carla Zampatti Leadership Excellence Award was presented by Leela Naja Hibri, CEO of the Fashion Council of Australia.
Rebecca Vallance won the People’s Choice Award, which was voted on at Australian Fashion Week by naming rights sponsor Postpaid.