Today the British Fashion Council (BFC) is delighted to announce that JD.com Inc., China’s largest retailer with over 300 million customers, will continue supporting the BFC / Vogue Designer Fashion Fund into 2019, extending their partnership which started in September 2017.
With China being the world’s second largest consumer and luxury market and an increased interest from Chinese consumers for British designers, the partnership allows the BFC to help talent engage with the Chinese market. JD.com’s goal is to expand its global fashion presence and bring more brands to China. The partnership with the BFC enables the company to support Britain’s design talent and increase their footprint in China.
JD.com helps designers that are part of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund to enter an often difficult to navigate Chinese market. Known for its focus on providing a premium luxury shopping experience for its upwardly mobile customers, JD.com has made a significant push in the sector over the last year, bringing in dozens of world-class brands and rapidly growing its share of the Chinese luxury market. JD.com has made inroads with ever-more Chinese customers through its reputation for not tolerating counterfeits and offering a variety of services to make the online experience as luxurious as shopping offline. Last year, JD.com created the world’s first luxury white glove delivery service through which online luxury fashion purchases are hand-delivered in electric vehicles by couriers clad in distinctive suits.
The partnership will be effective from January 2019 and will benefit the 2019 Fund winners. To launch this partnership JD.com supported the September 2018 shows of Huishan Zhang, shortlisted in 2017 for the Fund, Xuzhi Chen and Xiao Li. Last year, JD also provided sponsorship to 2015 Fund winner Mary Katrantzou, helping her reach the Chinese market with the opening of an exclusive online store on JD.com’s dedicated luxury boutique platform TOPLIFE.
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive British Fashion Council said: “We are delighted that JD.com are extending their support of the British Fashion Council Vogue Designer Fashion fund into 2019. This collaboration takes us into the second year of our valued partnership with JD.com which allows our British designer businesses to engage with over 300 million Chinese consumers, enabling them the vital opportunity of increasing their global footprint in China.”
Xia Ding, President of JD International Fashion commented: “We are delighted to partner with the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund to help support the world’s best up-and-coming designers. We believe strongly in partnering with designers throughout their careers, from helping them get their start in the industry, to entering the Chinese market and building their brands, to protecting their IP. This marks a starting point for what we expect to be a deep, long-term relationship with the British fashion community.”
Established in 2008, the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund aims to discover new talent and accelerate the development of the next leading British brand. In 2018, Molly Goddard won the £200,000 Fund and received a full mentoring programme through the BFC’s Business Support team, including access to funders and industry experts.
The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is supported by British Vogue, Burberry, JD.com, LABEL, Paul Smith, RODIAL and Topshop.
Previous winners of the Fund include Christopher Kane, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Mother of Pearl, Nicholas Kirkwood, palmer//harding, Peter Pilotto and Sophia Webster.
The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is part of the BFC’s business support initiatives aimed at supporting British designers and businesses from school level to emerging talent and future fashion start-ups through to new establishment and global brands.
For more information please visit: britishfashioncouncil.com/designerfashionfund
Applications for the 2018 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund will open late 2018.