The fashion world gathered in anticipation at Casa Cipriani in the heart of New York City on October 24th for the prestigious WWD Awards. This year, the spotlight was shone brightly on the exceptionally talented young knitwear designer, Jacques Agbobly, who won the “One To Watch” award for their innovative and boundary-pushing designs that have captured the industry’s attention. Agbobly is undeniably a rising star in the fashion realm and has been creating waves with their unique vision and extraordinary craftsmanship in knitwear. Their intricate and thought-provoking designs have set them apart from the crowd, earning them a reputation as a designer with boundless potential.
The star-studded event honored other established designers like Dries Van Noten for “Designer Of The Year” and Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri for the “John B. Fairchild Honor” award. The designer’s journey from changing their brand name to Black Boy Knits to their family name, Agbobly, was another stand out for their winning. They’ve always used their African heritage as a portal in their design, whether in storytelling through details or overtly with vibrant red, green, and yellow colors of the Togo flag.
In an excerpt of their speech they speak on their recent loss of their brother, Salhadine, and how winning this award felt like a “divine message” as the negativity from their loss is a heavy weight to bear. They go on to say in their acceptance speech, “Creativity has always been my solace, providing an escape from life’s difficulties and enabling me to paint a better vision of tomorrow. Receiving this award just one month after his passing feels serendipitous as if my brother is guiding me to fulfill my purpose. Fashion has always been my calling, even before I fully understood its meaning, and I would say he seems to agree as well.”
Agbobly’s perseverance in the face of heartbreak and adversity is truly inspiring to all, not just those in the fashion world. Their future is surely filled with more growth for their brand and even bigger doors to open than before. Congratulations to Jacques Agbobly for winning WWD’s “One To Watch” award.