Last night, Dazed founder Jefferson Hack was officially awarded a Special Recognition Award for Cultural Curation at the 2022 Fashion Awards. Recognised for his “visionary commitment” to empowering new talent across fashion, design, art, and music for more than three decades, the award – which celebrates outstanding contributions to the fashion industry – saw him share the stage with fellow honourees including Pierpaolo Piccioli, Bella Hadid, and Grace Wales Bonner.
Also attending the star-studded event was Hack’s longtime friend Tilda Swinton, who looked back on some memories they share – including a story about a stranded baby seal that doubled as an extended metaphor for nurturing young artists – in a heartfelt speech, before presenting him with the award.
“When we try to trace the radical, empowered, lively, curious, downright bodacious spirit in this country – all the good stuff, the stuff worth cleaving to and nourishing and being nourished by – we find Jefferson Hack there at the very root, nestled up against William Blake and David Bowie and Kae Tempest and Derek Jarman,” the actor said. “With a nose to the wind for the inspired and inspiring, and a determination to elevate their journey while stepping out of their way. DIY to the nth and dauntless to his bones.”
A 19-year-old Hack founded Dazed and Confused with Rankin in 1991, aiming to push back against the “synthetic leisure culture” of the early 90s. At the time, Swinton adds, the magazine “[gave] us a safe space to play in, to reach each other through, to build connection and alliance, to find confidence and joy in our own voices in, to identify our tribe [...] Very few of you here tonight will remember what the landscape was like before those two scallywags popped up. Believe me, it was square. And it wasn’t ours.” In the decades since, Dazed has also expanded to include AnOther, AnOther Man, Nowness, Dazed Digital, Dazed Beauty, and Dazed Studio.
Accepting the award, Hack himself delivered a short acceptance speech, thanking collaborators such as Dazed editor-in-chief IB Kamara (who was recognised as a leader of change at this year’s Fashion Awards). “Over thirty years ago we set out to empower youth through creativity, and we are still doing it today,” Hack said. “So the biggest thank you of all is to the hundreds of young creatives all over the world that have allowed our platforms to be part of their journey. Keep making it up as you go along as I did.”