Emmanuel Ray modeling Jewellery Designer Gisele Ganne’s collection from the Victorian inspired mourning/gothic collection. The Style Project, November ’08
British-Asian presenter & actor Emmanuel Ray has been nominated for Fashion Icon of the Year, at Fashions Finest Awards UK, the first award ceremony of its kind to support diversity on a large scale and put the spotlight on emerging talent in the industry.
Emmanuel Ray says he is both honoured and happy to have his work recognised and to have been nominated for the award by the British public. “Being an openly gay entertainer from an ethnic minority and a foreigner meant it was three times as difficult to get opportunities and overcome obstacles. But all my hard work seems to be paying off. My audience have always shown great support and I owe my success to them, and to every journalist who has ever written about me” he said.
Named “Britain’s First It Boy,” by the BBC, the former model & dancer who grew up in extreme poverty during Sri Lanka’s long and brutal civil war saw his life change after being scouted by a photographer while selling snacks and sweets on the beach. He became a model but his career was short lived because of severe bouts of depression which led to dependency on both drugs and alcohol. Two failed marriages, a broken engagement and numerous failed relationships later, Emmanuel Ray attempted suicide twice and ended up homeless.
A chance encounter with a Polish student named Marcel changed his life once more. “True love is very powerful. It brings out the best in anyone,” says Ray. With his partner’s encouragement and support, he successfully battled his drinking problem and drug addiction and came out clean in early 2009, immediately embarking on a career as a Presenter focusing on fashion and entertainment. Learning everything through trial and error, he covered a variety of shows including London Fashion Week, Clothes Show Live, Ideal Home Show, Alternative Fashion Week, showbiz parties and launch events. He has also hosted media events at the BBC TV Centre and BBC White City.
Emmanuel Ray as a cross between Lord Krishna and Jesus Christ! One of the images in the “Ecce Homo” series by Photographer Gavin Fernandes. Make up by Emma Koche. “Ecce Homo” are the Latin words used by Pontius Pilate when he presented Jesus Christ, crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd. The original Greek version translates into “Behold the Man.” The Ecce Homo series by Gavin Fernandes, using Emmanuel Ray as the model, was part of a project showing the mixture of Catholicism and Hinduism in Goan culture.
Emmanuel Ray has been interviewed by various media including BBC One, BBC Asia Network, RTE Ireland, Fashion TV, World Fashion Channel, Brit Asia TV and Vogue TV. He regularly contributes both on line and on air, speaking on a variety of topics ranging from beauty & style on a budget to issues affecting the creative sectors, the London social and fashion scene and his own complicated personal life, which he shares with his audience via his column Diary of an It Boy. Appearing in 5 online publications, the column was named London’s answer to Sex & The City by Break London Radio producer Trevor Blackman.
Emmanuel Ray has raised funds for various charities including SOS Children’s Villages, Save The Children, Tree of Hope children’s charity, London Evening Standard’s Dispossessed Fund, St Mary’s Hospital Padiatric Unit, Look Ahead Housing & Care, Shelter, Samaritans, Photovoice, Portugal Prints and Derbyshire Hepatitis C Charity. He is also involved in the Ministry for Peace campaign and has attended meetings at the Houses of Commons. He helped publicise “All Out” the campaign to persuade the government of Uganda to abandon the “Kill The Gays” bill. Emmanuel has in addition worked with the poor in Sri Lanka, has tutored children of refugees displaced by the war and has campaigned and presented for the Ceylon Workers Congress.
The British fashion industry is one of the most vibrant and internationally recognised fashion industries in the world. However, there is no recognised or premier fashion awards for the UK’s undiscovered and emerging talent. Fashions Finest aims to redress this imbalance, through the Fashions Finest Awards, where up & coming talent that works within our diverse fashion industry may be acknowledged and recognised.
Make up & hair by Jakub Motycka. Photo by Maria, Lens Appeal studio
July 2011 will see the first ever annual Fashions Finest Awards, which will be a prestigious awards ceremony that will be truly appreciated by its recipients and would be recognised generally within the British fashion industry and internationally as a sign of true talent and professionalism.
Fashions Finest Awards takes place on Friday 22 July at the Historic Gibson Hall in London Bishopsgate.