Today the British Fashion Council (BFC) announces the shortlisted designers for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund 2018. The Fund has a number of generous supporters and is delighted to receive the generous support of China’s largest retailer, JD.com, for the first time in 2018.
David Koma l Huishan Zhang l Le Kilt l Marques’ Almeida l Molly Goddard l Rejina Pyo
Established in 2008, The Fund aims to discover new talent and accelerate growth over a twelve-month period through mentoring and awarding a cash prize of £200,000. This year’s applications were encouraged from all over the UK, with many not shortlisted put on the radar of the high-profile industry judging committee for the first time.
This year’s judging committee is chaired by Edward Enninful OBE, Editor of British Vogue. The committee comprises of experts from across the fashion industry: Caroline Rush CBE, British Fashion Council; Erdem Moralioglu, ERDEM; Gemma Metheringham, LABEL; Helen David, Harrods; Jourdan Dunn, model; Maria Hatzistefanis, Rodial; Sarah Manley, Burberry; Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent & Vogue Runway; Paul Price, Topshop and Xia Ding, JD.com.
The application process encouraged brands to think strategically about the Fund’s core objective of business growth. All shortlisted designers will 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. Additionally, Xia Ding of JD.com will offer 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. With the launch of JD Fashion in 2017, JD is supporting designers and meeting demand from their customers who are increasingly looking to brands in the U.K. to express their individuality. Furthermore, award-winning law firm Mishcon de Reya will provide pro-bono legal advice to the finalists and winner.
In 2017 the Fund was shared between two recipients, Mother of Pearl and palmer//harding. For its 10th year anniversary the Fund returns to its original format to award one winner and help bring new knowledge to designer businesses and the finance put towards a full time or consultant team member but also to advise on areas such as accountancy, merchandising, business strategy, international growth, retail and e-commerce.
Edward Enninful OBE, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue and Chair of the Fund Committee, said: ‘The BFC Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is a hugely important initiative and I am thrilled to have Chaired this year’s committee. 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.’
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council, commented: ‘It is a very exciting shortlist which shows the breadth of talent we have here in the UK. 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.’
The shortlisted designers will be interviewed by the Fund Judging Committee on Thursday 15th March 2018 at Mortimer House, London W1T 3JH with the winner being announced on Tuesday 8th May 2018.
Previous winners of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund include Christopher Kane, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Mother of Pearl, Nicholas Kirkwood, palmer//harding, Peter Pilotto and Sophia Webster.
The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is proudly supported by British Vogue, Burberry, Harrods, JD.com, LABEL, Paul Smith, Rodial and Topshop.