LONDON — The British Fashion Council is teaming up with Swarovski once again — after a fruitful collaboration on the Fashion Awards — to launch the BFC Changemakers Prize, the largest new award that the BFC has launched in the last five years.
With a mission to “discover individuals within the fashion industry and celebrate the unsung heroes who are making outstanding contributions and striving for positive change,” the prize is open to anyone working in the British fashion industry and focuses on championing inclusivity and innovative thinking.
Entrants will be nominated by colleagues, peers, businesses and employers in recognition of outstanding work that aligns with one of the three pillars of the BFC’s Institute of Positive Fashion: environment, people or craftsmanship and community. The deadline for nominations is May 11.
The panel of judges from the fashion and creative industries led by BFC chief executive officer Caroline Rush and Swarovski creative director Giovanna Engelbert includes British Vogue’s Edward Enninful, Elle U.K.’s Farrah Storr, Dazed’s Ib Kamara, How to Spend It’s Jo Ellison, models Lily Cole and Munroe Bergdorf and television personality Tan France. The group will select nine finalists in May and three winners in July.
The winners will be championed as future industry trailblazers, and each will represent a pillar of the Institute of Positive Fashion. They will also receive a mentorship package that offers support to continue their work within the industry, as well as a cash prize.
It’s estimated that some 890,000 people work in the British fashion industry, representing 2.6 percent of the U.K. employment.
Rush said it’s going to be “extremely challenging” to narrow down all nominations, but added that a dedicated team of people will be following up with anyone who’s been nominated.
“As the institute of fashion is gaining momentum, we want to encourage everybody within the industry to play their part in terms of change. It’s a real opportunity to shine a light on individuals that normally wouldn’t be profiled or celebrated, and enhance what they are doing already. We really want people to think about how to change the industry, and change from within,” she said.
She added that working on this with the team at Swarovski, including creative director and former former Vogue Italia editor Giovanna Engelbert, presents “a great opportunity to think about how collectively” about they can foster positive change in the fashion industry.
Engelbert added that through the prize, “we have the great pleasure of discovering individuals across every facet of the fashion community with a hunger to create a more inclusive, sustainable and impactful world for us all.”
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