Ahrendts wins top luxury gong

BURBERRY’S outgoing chief executive Angela Ahrendts collected the top prize at the 2013 Walpole Awards for Excellence last night at the Banqueting House in Whitehall.

Ahrendts – who will swap luxury handbags for iPads when she joins Apple next year – was awarded the medal of excellence for her “monumental success in reinventing Burberry”.

Walpole’s judges showered praise on the FTSE boss for “her significant contribution to putting British luxury brands back on the map.”

Broadcaster and presenter Ben Fogle – best known for patting cute animals on TV show Animal Park and rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic – was perhaps an unusual choice to present the awards.

The luxury body’s annual gathering, held in association with Coutts, also saw jeweller Cartier pick up an award for corporate social responsibility while Paul Smith took home the prize for British luxury design talent. Meanwhile Rolls Royce accepted the award for British luxury brand of the year.