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LONDON — Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s chief creative officer, has been named chair of Fashion Fringe, the annual contest for emerging industry talent in Britain. An announcement is expected this week.
Bailey, whose tenure will last for two years, will select and mentor the three finalists and the winner of the 2012 award, who will be revealed during London Fashion Week in September.
Past chairs of the annual competition set up by Colin McDowell and IMG Fashion include Donatella Versace, John Galliano and Tom Ford.
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The announcement coincides with a call for applications for the 2012 award. Fashion Fringe will take applications starting Monday via the Web site fashionfringe.co.uk.
“Fashion Fringe provides a wonderful platform to develop emerging creative talent, and I am very proud to be partnering with them to unearth the next generation of exciting designers,” said Bailey. “The support, mentoring and guidance I received at the early stages of my career gave me the belief and self-confidence to explore the many wonderful opportunities that I’ve had.”
McDowell said Bailey would serve as chair in the run-up to the competition’s 10th anniversary in 2013. “He is young, and Burberry has a long and trusted tradition, and that pleases me enormously as youth and longevity are entirely what motivate and drive Fashion Fringe,” said McDowell. “I believe that Christopher and Burberry will offer great inspiration to our candidates in Fashion Fringe for the next two years whilst encouraging them to boldly step out and create their own vision and originality.”
The award includes two years of financial support, business advice, mentoring, and an equipped studio at London’s Somerset House — the London Fashion Week official venue. Past winners and finalists include Erdem, Basso & Brooke, and Corrie Nielsen.