LONDON — The British Fashion Council on Wednesday revealed this year’s recipients of its various grant-giving support schemes, including BFC Newgen, BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund, BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund and BFC Fashion Trust.
Some 22 emerging designer brands are short listed for the BFC Newgen scheme, which is awarded annually to ready-to-wear and accessories designers, offering them financial support, showcasing opportunities, and mentorship to build their businesses.
The recipients are Ahluwalia, Ancuța Sarca, Asai, Bethany Williams, Chet Lo, Conner Ives, Di Petsa, Eftychia, Feben, Harri, Helen Kirkum, Labrum London, Leo Carlton, Masha Popova, Nensi Dojaka, Paolo Carzana, Robyn Lynch, Roker, S.S. Daley, Saul Nash, SinÉad O’dwyer, Stefan Cooke, and Yuhan Wang.
The BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund this year will be handed out during the upcoming London Fashion Week in June. The winner will receive business mentoring, professional services, and a cash prize. Four brands, including Clothsurgeon, LYPH, Nicholas Daley, and Olubiyi Thomas are short listed for this opportunity.
A winner will be decided after they present their collections and business plan to a panel of experts chaired by Caroline Rush, chief executive officer of the British Fashion Council, and Adam Baidawi from GQ. The short listed brands will have access to a mentoring program through the BFC’s Designer Initiatives team, regardless of winning or not.
The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund will go to Richard Quinn. He was chosen from a group of brands that also include Chopova Lowena, Completedworks, E.L.V. Denim, Neous, Nicholas Daley, Richard Malone, and Tove by a panel of judges chaired by Rush and British Vogue editor in chief Edward Enninful.
Quinn will receive a cash prize of 200,000 pounds, while all designers will also have the opportunity to participate in a mentoring program with access to funders, industry experts, and pro-bono legal services.
The BFC Fashion Trust, which is open to all rtw and accessories brands, aims to empower positive business growth through financial grants and mentoring. All recipients are recognized for their articulation of how their project aligns with their broader business growth vision and shows a clear return on investment. Brands receiving the grant money, as well as finance, business support, and legal services, this year include Completedworks, E.L.V. Denim, Neous, Richard Malone, Supriya Lele, Tove, and Wales Bonner.
The BFC disclosed that the organization remitted more than 1.3 million pounds in funds to designers and scholars last year. Some 932,500 pounds were paid by the BFC Foundation as part of the BFC’s grant-giving initiatives including scholarships and the above-mentioned schemes, and another 400,000 pounds were paid to designers through brand partnership collaborations with the likes of Chanel, Dior Men, Burberry, Paul Smith, Charlotte Tilbury, Toni & Guy, as well as London Fashion Week’s principal partner Chearpay.
Rush believes that this year’s list of designers “truly showcases London’s reputation as a global capital for the creative industries, and we are delighted to be able to help so many of them through the BFC Foundation.”
Narmina Marandi and Tania Fares, co-chairs of the BFC Foundation, added: “Despite a difficult year for so many, an incredible group of individuals stepped forward to donate and support the BFC Foundation and its grant-giving initiatives. The annual funds raised by the charity allow us to continue the important work the BFC does in supporting and nurturing talented designers at all stages of their careers, as well as making sure that the British fashion industry remains diverse and open to all”.
The Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design — which has been given to Richard Quinn, Bethany Williams, Rosh Mahtani of Alighieri, and Priya Ahluwalia — will reveal this year’s recipient later today at London’s Design Museum in front of a live audience.