ONES TO WATCH: Walpole, the alliance of British luxury brands, is calling for entries to its annual Brands of Tomorrow program, which has been running for the past 10 years.
Entries close on Friday, Oct. 28, after which a shortlist of applicants will be invited to present their business plans to the selection panel. The final 12 winners of the 2017 program will be announced in January.
Each winner will be matched with an industry mentor and take part in six workshops, dealing with strategy, financial planning, distribution channels and models, branding, marketing, the customer and the complexities of managing a small, growing business.
More than 80 brands have taken part in the program since it was first launched in 2007. They include Shaun Leane, Miller Harris, Bremont Watch Company, Rococo Chocolates, Nyetimber and Charlotte Olympia.
Candidates must have a minimum annual turnover of 100,000 pounds, or $129,000, and demonstrate high standards of quality, design and craftsmanship.
“The British luxury industry is experiencing remarkable growth,” with manufacturers and craftsmen of paramount importance in supporting the progress, said Michelle Emmerson, chief executive officer of Walpole. “With the Brands of Tomorrow, we are dedicated to growing the next generation of talent.”
Entries, via thewalpole.co.uk, close on Oct. 28, and selections will be made on Nov. 16 and 17. Winners will be announced on Jan. 24.
Walpole counts 170 British luxury brands, including Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Rolls-Royce, Boodles, Harrods and Jimmy Choo, as members.
Its aim is to promote, protect and develop British design traditions, craftsmanship, innovation, style and service within an industry that is worth more than 32 billion pounds, or $41 billion, to the U.K. economy.
In addition to the Brands of Tomorrow program, Walpole is also involved in the Crafted initiative and the Luxury Management Program at London Business School. All of the projects are meant to connect Britain’s aspiring entrepreneurs, craftsmen and leaders with a network of senior mentors from Walpole’s membership.