Wales Bonner was the recipient of the 2019 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. Previous winners include Christopher Kane, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Molly Goddard, Mother of Pearl, Nicholas Kirkwood, palmer//harding, Peter Pilotto and Sophia Webster.
This week, British Fashion Council (BFC) announced the shortlisted designers for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund 2020. This year’s shortlist includes Alighieri, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, David Koma, Halpern, Metier and Rejina Pyo.
Established in 2008, The Fund aims to discover new emerging talent and to accelerate business growth, aimed at supporting the creation of brands of the future. The winner receives a cash prize of £200,000 and benefits from a full mentoring programme for one year. The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund receives the support of British Vogue, Burberry, Label/MIX, Rodial and Paul Smith.
Applications are encouraged from all over the UK and is open to designer businesses that focus on womenswear and/or accessories, with a strong aesthetic and point of difference, with many applicants becoming known to the high-profile judging committee for the first time. The shortlisted designers will be interviewed by the Fund Judging Committee this coming March with the winner announced in May.
According to Edward Enninful OBE, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue and Chair of the Fund Committee, the BFC Vogue Designer Fashion Fund continues to be a vital initiative within the UK fashion industry in discovering and supporting emerging talent. “The shortlisted designers have all demonstrated immense skill and business acumen to date.”
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council, commented: “It is a very exciting line-up which shows the breadth of talent we have here in the UK. Now more than ever, it is essential for our industry to help and mentor new talent who have the potential to become the next global fashion house and I am delighted that the Fund is able to do so for the 12th consecutive year.”
The application process encourages brands to think strategically about the Fund’s core objective of accelerating business growth. All shortlisted designers will be enrolled in a full mentoring programme through the BFC’s Business Development team, with access to entrepreneurs, donors and other industry experts who bring fresh insight to the commercial elements of the business, advising on areas such as accountancy, business strategy, retail channels, marketing, merchandising and international growth.
This year’s judging committee is chaired by Edward Enninful OBE, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue. The committee comprises of experts from across the fashion industry: Caroline Rush CBE, British Fashion Council; Fran Summers, Model; Gemma Metheringham, Label/Mix; Lauren Indvik, Financial Times; Maria Hatzistefanis, Rodial; Natalie Kingham, Matchesfashion.com; Paul Smith CBE, Paul Smith; Rod Manley, Burberry; Sarah Harris, British Vogue and Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent & Vogue Runway.