IN THE RUNNING: The seven contenders for the 2015 British Fashion Council/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund are Emilia Wickstead, Holly Fulton, Mary Katrantzou, Michael van der Ham, Mother of Pearl, Osman and Sophia Webster.
The designers are considered by the judges to be “in a strong position to develop into a global designer brand, and represent the best of London’s thriving fashion talent.”
The winner of the award is to be revealed on March 24 in London.
The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund provides one designer with bespoke mentoring support over a 12-month period, as well as a 200,000 pounds, or $301,036, grant to provide the infrastructure to take them to the next stage in business.
Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue and chair of the Fund committee, said the designers, “have carved out a distinctive niche for themselves.”
The fund is in its sixth year, and previous winners include Erdem, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Nicholas Kirkwood and Peter Pilotto.
This year, the BFC has also created an online video series called Designer Fashion Fund, which follows the application process, designer journeys, and interviews with the judging panel. The episodes will be published during the course of the year on YouTube and Vogue’s Web site.
The judging panel includes Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council; Topshop managing director Mary Homer; Browns founder and owner Joan Burstein; Naomi Campbell and Britain’s First Lady Samantha Cameron.
Fund sponsors are Burberry, Debenhams, Harrods, Paul Smith, Topshop and Vogue.