- Vivian Hendriksz |
The British Fashion Council (BFC) has announced its shortlist of designers for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund 2018. In addition to announcing the shortlist of designers eligible for the Fund, the BFC revealed that it is set to receive support from one of China's largest online retailers, JD.com, for the first time.
The shortlist for the Fund includes David Koma, Huishan Zhang, Le Kilt, Marques’ Almeida, Molly Goddard and Rejina Pyo. Established in 2008, the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund aims to support new talent and accelerate their growth over a twelve-month period through extensive mentoring. In addition, the winning recipients of the Fund also receive a cash prize of 200,000 pounds to support their business. The shortlisted designers will be interviewed by the judging committee on March 15 at Mortimer House, before the winner is announced on May 8, 2018.
The 2018 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund received a number of applications across the UK, with many not shortlisted placed on the radar of the judging committee for the first time. This year’s judging committee is chaired by Edward Enninful OBE, Editor of British Vogue and comprises of a series of experts from across the industry such as Caroline Rush CBE, head of the British Fashion Council, Erdem Moralioglu, founder of fashion label Erdem, Gemma Metheringham from LABEL and Jourdan Dunn, leading UK model.
"The BFC Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is a hugely important initiative and I am thrilled to have Chaired this year’s committee," said Edward Enninful OBE, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue and Chair of the Fund Committee, in a statement. "Our shortlist is a true representation of the diverse and inspirational design talent we foster in the UK, and I’m excited to see who will impress us as we move forward." The renewed application process for the Fund encouraged applicants to think strategically about its core objective of business growth.
All shortlisted designers are set to receive a full mentoring programme through the BFC's Business Support Team, with access to funders and industry experts including a roundtable hosted by Sir Paul Smith and a mentoring session from Rodial’s Maria Hatzistefanis. In addition, Xia Ding from JD.com will share expertise on how to best penetrate the Chinese market, the world’s second-largest consumer and luxury market, and expand their customer bases into the country. Furthermore, award-winning law firm Mishcon de Reya will offer pro-bono legal advice to the finalists and winner.
Although the Fund was shared between the two recipients, Mother of Pearl and palmer//harding, for the 10 year anniversary the Fund is set to return to its original format and award one winner. "It is a very exciting shortlist which shows the breadth of talent we have here in the UK," said Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council. "All shortlisted designers are incredibly talented and have the potential to become the UK’s next global fashion house. We are very excited to work with Edward and welcome our new Judging Committee members and Funders who are joining Burberry, Topshop and Paul Smith who have supported the fund since its inception."
Former winners of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund include Christopher Kane, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto and Sophia Webster.
Foto: British Fashion Council website