The British Fashion Council (BFC) announces NEWGEN 30, the 30th anniversary of its internationally celebrated BFC NEWGEN initiative. 2023 marks 30 years since the launch of BFC NEWGEN, a showcasing support scheme which was established in 1993 to enable a group of designers, including the late Lee Alexander McQueen, to showcase their collections at London Fashion Week.
The year long celebration of NEWGEN 30 will culminate with a landmark exhibition at the Design Museum in London launching September 2023 to coincide with London Fashion Week. The exhibition, REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion, is sponsored by Alexander McQueen. Guest curated by Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent and Design Museum Senior Curator, Rebecca Lewin, the exhibition will be open from 15th September 2023 until 11th February 2024. Tickets will go on sale June 2023. Through the support of multiple partners, the exhibition aims to raise funding for the BFC Foundation which supports the future growth and success of the British fashion industry, by focusing on education, grant-giving and business mentoring.
REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion will be one of the most comprehensive contemporary fashion exhibitions ever staged in the UK, acknowledging the work of 300 designers and featuring over 100 objects – from innovative and trailblazing garments to films, drawings and memorabilia. It aims to deconstruct the creative process and inspire the next generation of fashion designers.
BFC NEWGEN is a pioneering designer showcasing and development initiative with recipients identified by their creativity, aesthetic and innovative approach to design. It aims to build creative responsible businesses for the future by offering designers an opportunity to showcase their collections at London Fashion Week, financial support and mentoring to help them future proof their businesses.
Since its launch in 1993, NEWGEN has supported over 300 designers all at the beginning of their careers, alumni including Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Charles Jeffrey, Christopher Raeburn, Erdem, Henry Holland, Kim Jones, J.W. Anderson, Mary Katrantzou, Molly Goddard, Roksanda, Simone Rocha, Stuart Vevers, Priya Ahluwalia, Saul Nash, Grace Wales Bonner, Bianca Saunders and many more.
The next twelve months will be a celebration of the influence of the BFC NEWGEN community on the global fashion industry, recognising London’s role in nurturing emerging talent and the next generation of visionary creatives.
Caroline Rush, BFC Chief Executive, said: “We are thrilled to be celebrating the influence and legacy of our NEWGEN initiative over the next twelve months. The impact that the initiative has had over the last three decades on homegrown British brands and the global fashion industry cannot be understated. We are grateful to McQueen for their support and look forward to recognising Lee Alexander McQueen alongside the 300-strong alumni of BFC NEWGEN recipients at the brilliant Design Museum this September.”
Sarah Burton, Creative Director, Alexander McQueen, said: “At McQueen we have always been passionate about supporting creativity and encouraging new talent. The fact that Lee was the first recipient of this award makes this celebration even more significant to us.”
Tim Marlow, the Design Museum CEO and Director, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with the British Fashion Council to shine a light on the extraordinary creativity that has come out of their NEWGEN programme over the past 30 years. To be able to do that in the heart of the very same city that has helped foster so much of this talent is very special. We can’t wait to celebrate the best of contemporary fashion in Britain at the Design Museum in 2023.”
The BFC Foundation (Registered Charity Number: 1185152) aims to create pathways to support British fashion talent while addressing the need for continuous and growing support to increase the diversity of the talent pool and support businesses that are leading the way in terms of environmental and community impact. The foundation helps talented designers at all stages of their career from school level through to becoming a global fashion brand. In the financial year 2021/2022, the BFC remitted over £1.3m in funds to designers and scholars.