PARIS — The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, French fashion’s governing body, is ramping up its backing for emerging designers with a new support fund launched primarily to help designers not based in France who were previously not eligible for funding.
With the help of industry players, the FHCM has raised 500,000 euros to help young designers, notably so they can present their collections during Paris Fashion Week.
“It’s difficult for emerging brands,” Pascal Morand, executive president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, told a press conference on Tuesday.
“This new initiative came about as a result of the health crisis,” he said.
Young labels based in France can already get funding through DEFI, the financial backer of the FHCM’s Sphere program for emerging designers launched in 2019. DEFI, France’s commission for the promotion of textiles and apparel, invests 600,000 euros a year in the program.
“This support is extremely important for brands,” Morand said. “We decided we needed to offer financial help for brands not based in France or eligible for DEFI financing.”
Through Sphere, the Fédération supports around 80 young brands year-round with advisory services, expertise and support as well as funding.
Around 15 of them participate each season in the Sphere showroom, which replaced the Designers Apartment initiative two years ago with the aim of creating a broader support system for emerging talent.
Since the new program was launched, “the total sales of the brands represented has seen significant growth,” Morand said.
For its new Emerging Brands Initiative Fund, the FHCM has enlisted member companies including LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Kering, Chanel, Hermès, Maison Margiela, Richemont, Dries Van Noten, Ami Paris and Isabel Marant, as well as L’Oréal Paris, Sphere’s existing sponsor and partner, down clothing specialist Bosideng and catalogue business La Redoute.
The organization has also created a selection committee with industry figures including Wendy Yu, Julie Gilhart, Herbert Hofmann and Jenke Ahmed Tailly to help with the international aspect of the program. Brands are provided with funding on a case-by-case basis. This September, some 15 labels have received financial help under the new program, Morand said.
To be eligible, labels must be less than 10 years old, independently owned and have less than 5 million euros in annual revenue.
The Sphere showroom at the Palais de Tokyo, open Wednesday through Oct. 5, this season includes designers Alexandre Blanc, Benjamin Benmoyal, Christoph Rumpf, Germanier, Kenneth Ize, LGN Louis Gabriel Nouchi, Mossi and Thebe Magugu. Its digital portal features Arturo Obegero, Blue Marble, Boramy Viguier, EgonLab, Mansour Martin, Uniforme and Valette Studio.