A GLASGOW underwear firm has been praised as an inspiration by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon after scooping a top award at the prestigious UK Lingerie Awards 2014.

Global-brand Vanilla Blush won glamour recognition in the style world, which included other brands like super-model Elle MacPherson's range , Bravisimo and Debenhams.

Nicola Dames, the CEO and founder of Vanilla Blush, Europe's first specialised glamour lingerie line for people with a stoma, in Glasgow's East End, was delighted to win the UK's Post Surgery Brand of the Year.

Ms Sturgeon said: "Many congratulations to Vanilla Blush on this fantastic achievement.

"They are a great example of a Glasgow company flying the flag for Scotland, and this award is a richly deserved acknowledgement of all the hard work that has gone into their success.

"Scotland is already a great place to grow and develop a business, and I hope Vanilla Blush's success inspires other Scottish-based firms to take advantage of the enterprising climate the Scottish Government is helping to create."

Nicola launched Vanilla Blush, Europe's first specialised glamour lingerie line for people with a stoma, in Glasgow's East End, with the backing of Health Minister Alex Neil, earlier this year.

The mum-of-two, from Glasgow, suffered with bowel disease in her 20s and lived with the condition for many years before making the decision to have life changing surgery, which removed her large colon.

Post operation, the underwear available lacked "femininity" and back in 2008 Nicola, now 37, embarked on her first business venture.

Since then she has developed a new line in underwear and swimwear for men and woman who have suffered with similar conditions.

Former intensive care nurse Nicola said: "Vanilla Blush opened up Europe's first specialised underwear and swimwear store in Glasgow back in April with the former Health Minister Alex Neil MSP and other public figures.

"Vanilla Blush was the first stoma fashion company to be nominated for these prestigious awards and we were the first stoma company to win.

"Not only did Vanilla Blush win the award for UK, but I feel we won it for Scotland, for Glasgow, and for all people around the world with stomas."

Award organisers said Vanilla Blush had the most "standout" designs.

Sarah Blackman, UK Lingerie Awards 2014 head organiser said: "The high standards of entries in the Post Surgery Brand of the Year category made judging a tough task for our esteemed panel of judges, but the most standout designs, from mastectomy bras to colostomy underwear, shone through."

Former Lord Provost of Glasgow and Chair of Economic Development Baillie Liz Cameron was delight Nicola has scooped the top award.

She said: "I was delighted to be introduced to a small business with big ideas plus a potent blend of heart, determination and sheer courage.

"Nicola has faced a huge personal health challenge in her life. She turned that challenge into an opportunity and showed both business sense and strength of character in founding a great lingerie company that, in a short space of time, has come so far.