Why Meghan Markle's speech at the Fashion Awards was so important

“It’s cool to be kind”
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Why Meghan Markle's speech at the Fashion Awards was so important

It was potentially the greatest red carpet of 2018. Kaia Gerber – who took home Model Of The Year – Kate Moss, Victoria and David Beckham, Kendall Jenner, Winnie Harlow and Alexa Chung. Oh, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, made a stylish surprise with her baby bump to present British Designer of the Year. And breathe.

Celebrating the past 12 months of fashion with an extravagant ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Fashion Awards 2018 – in partnership with Swarovski – saw the likes of industry leaders Miuccia Prada and Kim Jones recognised alongside the next generation of design pioneers, such as Samuel Ross and Richard Quinn.


However, it was Prince Harry’s wife who completely stole the show as she presented Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy with the ultimate trophy before global audience of 4,000 guests. Clare, who was appointed Artistic Director of the French fashion house in March 2017, is the first woman ever to hold the position in the brand’s history and made international headlines when she designed Meghan’s simple and classic wedding gown for her May nuptials. She also continues to dress Meghan in her new life as a royal. What a woman.


Before bestowing the honour upon Clare, the Duchess of Sussex – who is expecting to give birth to her first child in spring next year – gave a few words to the audience about the importance of “kindness” in the fashion world.

‘The culture of fashion has shifted from one where it was cool to be cruel to now, where it’s cool to be kind


“As all of you in this room know, we have a deep connection to what we wear. Sometimes it’s very personal, sometimes it’s emotional. But for me, this connection is rooted in really being able to understand that it’s about supporting and empowering each other, especially as women,” the former Suits star told the crowd.

“I recently read an article that said, ‘The culture of fashion has shifted from one where it was cool to be cruel to now, where it’s cool to be kind… To that point, I feel especially proud to announce tonight’s winner, who, yes, is a British designer leading on the global stage with vision and creativity, but also with incredible kindness, which is why when I met her for the first time 11 months ago, I knew that we’d be working very closely together,” Meghan concluded with a smile.


Clare, shocked by the win and Meghan’s unannounced cameo, responded by saying of the actress, “This woman is so amazing. I got to know Meghan on such a personal level and to have someone like that trust you in an incredible moment in their life is something that is just the most unbelievable honour, and I can’t thank you enough.”

What have we learned from the Duchess? Kindness is key, and we would all do well to make practising this our New Year’s resolution.

Photos: Getty Images and supplied