LONDON — Mary Katrantzou has scooped this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund prize, beating competitors Osman, Holly Fulton, Michael van der Ham, Mother of Pearl, Sophia Webster and Emilia Wickstead.
The fund, established in 2008, provides the winning designer with high-level mentoring for a year, and a grant of 200,000 pounds, or $298,500, to pay for the infrastructure that allows them to take the next step in business.
This story first appeared in the March 25, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“It was an extremely diverse short list, but ultimately, we all agreed that Mary has not only created a strong and hugely appealing identity for her work, but has put in place measures that, along with the support of this prize, should ensure an exciting and successful next stage of her career,” said Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue and chair of the fund.
Designers presented their collections and five-year business plans to the judging committee, which is made up of representatives from businesses that support the prize and industry experts. The short list was revealed in February.
This year, the BFC has also created an online video series called “Designer Fashion Fund,” which follows the application process, designers’ journeys and interviews with the judging panel. The episodes will be published during the course of the year on Youtube.com/BritishFashionTV and Vogue.co.uk.
The fund is a legacy project from the BFC’s 25th anniversary celebrations. Previous winners include Peter Pilotto, Nicholas Kirkwood, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane and Erdem.
The judging committee included BFC chief executive officer Caroline Rush; Joan Burstein; Naomi Campbell and Samantha Cameron, and the prize is sponsored by Burberry, Debenhams, Harrods, Paul Smith, Topshop and British Vogue.