The British Fashion Council (BFC) is delighted to announce that in 2017, it raised over £2.2million for its charities and business support initiatives and in the twelve months to March 2018 it has allocated £1.1million. With the British fashion industry contributing £29.7billion to the UK GDP, the BFC is committed to developing design excellence and growth by nurturing, supporting and promoting British fashion talent on the global stage.
As an organisation, education underpins the BFC’s work on promoting excellence in British fashion, by supporting the future talent pipeline, from school level to emerging talent, and future fashion start-ups through to new establishment and global brands, through a range of charitable initiatives. Today the BFC hosted an event at The May Fair Hotel to highlight and celebrate the 2018 designers awarded prizes and financial contributions including the announcement of the 2018/19 NEWGEN line-up and the 2018 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund winner.
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive British Fashion Council commented: “We are extremely proud to have raised over £2.2 million within a year for all of our charities and business support initiatives. I would like to thank all our supporters without whom this would have not been possible, from our patrons to all the funders, sponsors and mentors who give their time probono to help us develop and grow the exciting designer businesses we have in the UK. Huge congratulations to the 2018 NEWGEN recipients and to Molly Goddard, winner of the 2018 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. All these designers represent the most creative and innovative talent our country has to offer and we look forward to working with them to raise their profile even more on the international fashion stage.”
Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent and Chair of the NEWGEN Committee said: “Across women’s, menswear and now, accessories, NEWGEN is a snapshot of the best and most innovative young fashion talent this country has to offer. Amongst this cohort, there are designers speaking up about things that matter- their identities, sustainability and ethical behaviour. They’re a super-inspiring generation; and we are incredibly grateful to all the experts who devote their time and advice to helping them achieve in business.”
Edward Enninful OBE, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue and Chair of the Fund Committee said: “Molly Goddard is an original, she has a singular vision that has propelled her label to an international level. She is the definition of talent and what Britain does best in our creative industry.”
BFC EDUCATION FOUNDATION
The BFC Education Foundation raises funds to support students with the ability and potential to make an exceptional contribution to the fashion industry. Education is one of the BFC’s five Strategic Pillars co-chaired by Sarah Mower and Meribeth Parker with the aim of attracting the best talent to the industry by giving students a clear understanding of how to study and train for a plethora of industry roles.
The BFC Education Foundation is also the charitable partner of The Fashion Awards and the event’s main partner, Swarovski, have already generously pledged £300,000 to the BFC Education Foundation in advance of The Fashion Awards 2018. In the last year alone, the Foundation has awarded over £134,000 across 12 BA and MA scholarships. Furthermore, the BFC has also confirmed a future scholarship for an MA funded by Kering. The BFC’s education initiatives also support young people looking to gain fashion industry knowledge and insight through National Fashion & Business Saturday Clubs which provide opportunities for teenagers aged 14-16 to study in the creative industries. This year, industry experts from brands including Apple, Dazed and Nike impart their knowledge to teenagers with an interest in art, design and fashion through free college and university-hosted masterclasses.
Additionally, the BFC has developed an apprenticeship for 18-year-old school leavers wishing to develop their skills and knowledge in fashion. The Fashion Studio Apprenticeship opens new pathways to the luxury fashion sector and gives insight on how to run a successful fashion business. All this support not only benefits young talent but also strengthens the BFC’s aim to make Britain the best place to start, develop and grow creative, innovative businesses. The BFC also works on the fashion industry’s skills agenda with UKFT to promote skills development in the fashion sector.
NEWGEN is a BFC initiative that supports the very best emerging talent and aims to build global, high end fashion brands of the future. The scheme offers designers financial support, showcasing opportunities and the time and support to hone in on critical business skills to futureproof their businesses. The BFC, with support from the NEWGEN committee, delivers individual mentoring and business training sessions to assist the designers as they develop their business infrastructure and skills. NEWGEN designers are identified by their creativity, strong design aesthetic and point of difference.
NEWGEN sponsorship is awarded annually to both womenswear and menswear designers who will show at either London Fashion Week or London Fashion Week Men’s. In 2018, NEWGEN will also encompass Accessories, including all categories such as shoes, bags, hats, jewellery and fine jewellery, absorbing the BFC Rock Vault and Headonism initiatives. This move allows the BFC to demonstrate the incredible pool of emerging talent in the UK across all designer fashion categories.
Alighieri, Isosceles, Matty Bovan, Per Gotesson, Supriya Lele and The Season Hats will receive NEWGEN support for the first time this year, in addition to existing NEWGEN designers A-COLD-WALL*, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, Halpern, Kiko Kostadinov, Liam Hodges, Nicholas Daley, Paula Knorr, Phoebe English, Richard Malone, Richard Quinn, Wales Bonner who all continue to receive support. ‘One to Watch’ support has been awarded to Bianca Saunders and Pariah Farzaneh, who will be given exhibition space in the LFW Designer Showrooms at The Store Studios this September. Designers COTTWEILER, Marta Jakubowski, Molly Goddard and Sadie Williams have now graduated from the initiative.
A-COLD-WALL*, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, Kiko Kostadinov, Liam Hodges, Nicholas Daley, Per Gotesson, Phoebe English and Wales Bonner will show at London Fashion Week Men’s in June. Halpern, Matty Bovan, Paula Knorr, Richard Malone, Richard Quinn and Supriya Lele will show at London Fashion Week in September. Each of the NEWGEN designers will be allocated a dedicated pop-up showroom space within the Designer Showrooms at The Store Studios, taking residence after their show or presentation to host press and buyers appointments.
Since its inception in 1993, NEWGEN sponsorship has acted as a promotional launch pad for young designers including Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Craig Green, Christopher Raeburn, Erdem, JW Anderson, James Long, Marques’Almeida, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto, Roksanda Ilincic and Simone Rocha.
The NEWGEN committee comprises of Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent (Chair); Alex Fury, AnOther Magazine; Anders Christian Madsen, British Vogue; Anna Orsini, BFC; Barbara Grispini, D/ARK; Ben Banks, FourMarketing; Ben Cobb, AnOther Man; Carol Woolton, British Vogue; Caroline Rush, BFC; Cassie Smart, Matches Fashion; Catherine Hayward, Esquire; Charlie Porter, Financial Times; Claire Denman Smith, Stephen Webster; Damien Paul, Matches Fashion; Donna Wallace, Elle; Elgar Johnson, GQ Style; Isabella Davey, BFC; Jess Christie, Matches Fashion; Jo Newton, Fortnum & Mason; Katie Hillier, Katie Hillier; Laura Burlington, Consultant; Laura Larbalestier, Boutique1; Liane Wiggins, Matches Fashion; Lulu Kennedy, Fashion East; Maia Adams, Adorn Insight; Melanie Rickey, Consultant; Mia Fenwick, Fenwick; Nicholas Kirkwood, Nicholas Kirkwood; Nick Vinson, Wallpaper*; Olivia Singer, British Vogue; Pollyanna Goncalves, BFC; Rebecca Lowthorpe, Grazia; Simon Longland, Harrods; Stavros Karelis, Machine-A; Stephen Jones, Stephen Jones; Stephen Webster, Stephen Webster; Steve Salter, i-D; Susanne Tide-Frater, Farfetch; Susie Lau; Style Bubble; Virginia Bates, Freelance
BFC FASHION TRUST
The BFC Fashion Trust is a charitable initiative founded in February 2011 to offer selected designers mentoring and financial support to promote the art and business of fashion. Since its inception the BFC Fashion Trust has awarded over £1.6million to 39 designer businesses to help with critical business support such as developing websites, ecommerce platforms and bricks & mortar stores.
The philanthropic programme is developed in partnership with co-chairs Tania Fares and Sian Westerman, along with the BFC, and the Fashion Trust Advisory Committee. In 2017, the BFC Fashion Trust awarded grants totalling £450,000 between eleven designers; the largest annual grant allocation by the Trust to date. Recipients for 2017 are Edeline Lee, Eudon Choi, Fyodor Golan, Georgia Hardinge, Huishan Zhang, Isa Arfen, Marques’Almeida, Osman, Rejina Pyo, Sharon Wauchob and Teatum Jones. The 2018 line-up will be announced on 23rd May 2018.
In addition to the grants, the BFC Fashion Trust supports a graduate traineeship programme which offers graduates 12-month paid placements with a British based designer. The programme has the dual benefit of allowing graduates to gain insight and experience and for the designer’s business to benefit from additional support. Previously partnered brands include E.Tautz, Erdem, House of Holland, JW Anderson, Mary Katrantzou and Roksanda.
BFC/VOGUE DESIGNER FASHION FUND
Established in 2008, the Fund aims to discover new talent and accelerate growth over a twelve-month period through mentoring and awarding a cash prize of £200,000. The Fund has several generous supporters and is delighted to receive the generous support of China’s largest e-tailer, JD.com, for the first time in 2018. This year’s applications were encouraged from all over the UK, with many not shortlisted put on the radar of the high-profile industry judging committee for the first time.
David Koma, Huishan Zhang, Le Kilt, Marques’ Almeida, Molly Goddard and Rejina Pyo were shortlisted for the 2018 prize and were invited to present their collections and business plan to the panel. Chaired by Edward Enninful OBE, Editor of British Vogue, the judging committee is made up of representatives from businesses who support the Fund and industry experts: Caroline Rush CBE, British Fashion Council; Erdem Moralioglu, ERDEM; Gemma Metheringham, LABEL; Helen David, Harrods; Jourdan Dunn, model; Maria Hatzistefanis, Rodial; Sarah Manley, Burberry; Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent & Vogue Runway; Paul Price, Topshop and Xia Ding, JD.com.
All shortlisted designers received a full mentoring programme through the BFC’s Business Support team, with access to funders and industry experts including a roundtable hosted by Sir Paul Smith and a mentoring session from Rodial’s Maria Hatzistefanis. Additionally, JD.com hosted the shortlisted designers in Shanghai and organised a catwalk show for them to showcase their collections to a local audience of media, retailers and industry influencers. Furthermore, award-winning law firm Mishcon de Reya is providing pro-bono legal advice to the finalists and winner.
Previous winners of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund include Christopher Kane, Erdem, Jonathan Saunders, Mary Katrantzou, Mother of Pearl, Nicholas Kirkwood, palmer//harding, Peter Pilotto and Sophia Webster. The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is proudly supported by British Vogue, Burberry, Harrods, JD.com, LABEL/MIX, Paul Smith, Rodial and Topshop.