BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund shortlist announced
The shortlist for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund 2018, which aims to support the growth of a UK-based fashion brand, has been announced with Marques’ Almeida and Molly Goddard among the candidates.
For the first time ever, China’s largest retailer JD.com joins the number of supporters of the fund, which also includes Burberry, Harrods, Topshop and Paul Smith.
The full list of shortlisted brands includes David Koma, Huishan Zhang, Le Kilt, Marques’ Almeida, Molly Goddard and Rejina Pyo, announced the British Fashion Council on Tuesday.
Unlike last year, when the fund was shared between two recipients (Mother of Pearl and palmer//harding), the 2018 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund will return to its original format with just one winner.
A judging committee chaired by British Vogue’s new editor Edward Enninful will interview the shortlisted designers in March, with the winner being announced on 8 May. In addition to receiving twelve months of mentoring and advise on areas such as accountancy, business strategy and international growth, the winner will be awarded a cash prize of £200,000.
And all shortlisted designers will receive a full mentoring programme through the BFC’s Business Support team, with access to funders and industry experts such as Paul Smith and Rodial’s Maria Hatzistefanis.
Furthermore, Xia Ding of JD.com will work with the brands to help them penetrate the Chinese market and expand their customer bases into the country. Following the launch of JD Fashion in 2017, the Chinese company is looking to meet rising demand for British fashion from Chinese shoppers.
Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief of British Vogue, 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, BFC chief executive added: “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.”
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.
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