OVERSEAS HAUL: The British Fashion Council is fast at building commercial bridges with China: After cooperating with JD.com and VIP.com during London Fashion Week earlier this month, the organization announced that 500,000 pounds worth of deals were made between the BFC and JD.com, one of China’s largest online retailers, and Ruyi International Group, the Chinese textiles and fashion company.
The money from the Chinese e-commerce platforms will go toward the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, Britain’s Department of International Trade and the re-instatement of the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund. The fund will support an emerging men’s wear designer with a monetary prize of 150,000 pounds and a yearlong mentoring program.
“We are delighted to reinstate the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund thanks to JD.Com Inc. and Ruyi who have committed to two years of support for our brilliant emerging men’s wear designers,” said Dylan Jones, BFC men’s wear chair and editor of British GQ.
While these new deals were struck, David Beckham simultaneously launched the BFC’s China Partnerships Strategy in Shanghai as one of his first duties as the BFC’s new ambassadorial president. The strategy focuses on helping British designers enter into the Chinese market.
The BFC is driving its Chinese partnerships forward under both the organization’s China Partnerships Strategy and the BFC’s China Fashion Business Network. Chair of the BFC, Stephanie Phair, highlighted the importance of positioning British fashion on a global stage.
“China has always been a key market for British designers, from emerging businesses to established brands. There is a growing appetite for British fashion in China. We look forward to working with all our existing and new Chinese partners as well as David, whose support and network are instrumental in promoting the best of British fashion,” Phair said.
Last week, the BFC unveiled a cross collaborative effort with JD.com to sponsor and promote three London-based Chinese designers on the retailer’s JDesigner Boutique online platform.
At the beginning of the month, to kick-start London Fashion Week, the BFC cemented a partnership with VIP.com, another Chinese fashion e-commerce site. The partnership took place as a multiband runway presentation where four Chinese designers showcased their collections among British press and buyers.
VIP.com is looking to introduce British designers onto their platform, giving them exposure to the Chinese market and will provide WeChat training for the BFC.