LONDON — London’s emerging men’s wear designers now have a chance to be in the money.
The British Fashion Council said earlier this week that it will launch the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund, supported by Vertu.
The fund offers a prize valued at 200,000 pounds, or $320,189 at current exchange, comprising cash, business mentoring and professional business services.
It is aimed at designers who have been in business for a minimum of three years, with U.K. and international stockists, and have graduated through the existing BFC talent support schemes or are at a similar stage in their business.
The BFC said the fund would provide a platform similar to that of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, which launched in September 2008. It said Vertu will assist in developing the mentoring program and give access to its team of business leaders in technology, global distribution, legal and finance.
Dylan Jones, editor in chief of British GQ and chairman of London Collections: Men, said during a launch event in London on Tuesday evening that it was “about time” the men’s wear industry had its own fund, in order “to help some of our emerging brands grow and move forward financially. London is not only the home of men’s wear, but there are now more exciting men’s wear designers in Britain than ever before.”
A judging panel of industry experts will select a long list of applicants to attend an interview. Up to eight businesses will be shortlisted, based on their contribution to the reputation of the British fashion industry, their commercial achievements to date and their three-year plan, which should include infrastructure and employment opportunities to support growth.
Those shortlisted will take part in an eight-month mentoring program that will see them spend time with global fashion brands, meet with media, look at range planning and dissect their three-year plan to address global growth.
At the end of the mentoring period, designers will be asked to re-present their three-year plan, and present their most recent collection to a panel of judges.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast