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.
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