Model Emily Shak, TV presenters Anna Campbell-Jones and Laura Boyd, environmental scientist Laura Young and illustrator Suzanne Scott were among those recognised at the inaugural red carpet ceremony in Glasgow.The event, hosted by Radio 1 presenter Arielle Free. was instigated by Mary McGowne, founder of the Scottish Style Awards, to challenge perceptions about influencers and highlight the contributions they are making to Scotland’s image at home and abroad.Shak, a fashion and beauty model and blogger who has amassed more than 1.5 million followers on Instagram, was hailed at the event as Scotland’s “superinfluencer.”Boyd, a presenter on STV, was recognised as Scotland's influencer of the year for documenting her “truly inspirational personal journey” on social media as she documented living with chronic myeloid leukaemia and her experiences of surrogacy.Writer Graeme Johncock was honoured for Scotland’s Stories, a blog exploring Scottish folklore and history, which won a special award backed by national tourism agency VisitScotland to mark Scotland’s first ever “Year of Stories.”Claire Ferguson was named travel influencer of the year for documenting “low on carbon footprint travels” around the country - as well as where to find “Scotland’s best honesty boxes."The food and drink categories were won respectively by photographer and recipe creator Sonya Walos and Jack Jamieson, who runs the Scottish Mixology page on Instagram.
Lisa Kennedy won the arts and culture category for The Braw and the Brave podcast, while Campbell-Jones, one of the stars of the BBC show Scotland’s Home of the Year, won the interiors and design award.
Other fashion experts honoured included lifestyle winner John Robertson, who runs the men's online magazine The Everyday Man, and style influencer of the year Caroline Cook, who was hailed for championing "considered fashion, sustainable labels, pre-loved style and indie boutiques."
Blogger Rona McMillan, who won the health and wellbeing award, was praised for documenting her “exciting, empowering adventures, soaking up nature.”Edinburgh-based photographer Zoe Stewart won the family award for My Little Wildlings, a blog she created to share “the ordinary magic of honest motherhood.”Sarah Hill, a celebrity make-up artist whose clientele includes Lauren Mayberry, Emeli Sande, Melanie C and Pixie Lott, was named top beauty influencer.Nominees had to be either born in Scotland or based in Scotland, and could either put themselves forward or be nominated by others.
Hailed as Scotland's biggest social media star, Shak was said to "consistently exude style, digital creativity, transparency and positive engagement with her international community."Boyd was praised for the "powerful, compelling and open way" she had documented her personal journey on social media, as well as her "tireless charity campaigning."
McGowne: “Through these awards we aim to challenge perceptions of what constitutes an ‘influencer’ and highlight the overwhelmingly positive contribution so many are making towards Scotland’s image and appeal at home and internationally.
“They are nailing their niche, be it food, fashion or family, and have the power to propel messaging to their highly engaged followers which often helps generate vital commercial success for brands, people and places.
"From initially being on the fringe to now taking centre stage in the digital world, this is a timely opportunity to recognise their achievements."