BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund unveils 2021 shortlist
The British Fashion Council has revealed the names on the shortlist for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund 2021 with a selection of relatively-well-known and lower-profile designers making the grade.
The shortlist comprises Alighieri, ASAI, Bethany Williams, Chopova Lowena, Completedworks, E.L.V. Denim, Halpern, Kwaidan Editions, Olubiyi Thomas, Richard Malone and Supriya Lele.
The 13-year-old fund was created to “celebrate exceptional talent and empower businesses to play their part in positive growth”. It does this through bespoke mentoring and a £200,000 cash prize, with the support of British Vogue, Burberry, Clearpay and Paul Smith.
For 2021, the fund criteria were updated to reflect excellence in design and strong business acumen. The application process “encouraged brands to think strategically about how they are incorporating the three pillars of the Institute of Positive Fashion: Environment, People and Craftsmanship & Community into their brand”.
The shortlisted designers will be interviewed by the judging committee next month with the winner/s announced in May.
And that committee has plenty of big names, including British Vogue Editor-in-chief/Vogue European Editorial Director Edward Enninful as its chair. He’s joined by the BFC’s own chief Caroline Rush, model Adut Akech, British Vogue’s fashion director Julia Sarr-Jamois and deputy editor/fashion features director Sarah Harris. Also on the judging panel are FT fashion editor Lauren Indvik, Matchesfashion’s global fashion officer Natalie Kingham, Burberry’s marketing chief Rod Manley, and Sarah Mowver, who’s the BFC’s ambassador for emerging talent and also chief critic for Vogue Runway.
Enninful said that “now more than ever, we must continue to champion young designers who bring so much inspiration and diversity to British fashion”.
And Rush added that it’s “essential for our industry to come together and support and nurture new emerging talent. This year’s shortlist demonstrates the incredible breadth of talent we have here in the UK”.
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