Mother of Pearl and Palmer Harding win BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund
The British Fashion Council (BFC) named Amy Powney of Mother of Pearl and Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding of Palmer Harding as the first winners of its tweaked BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund on Tuesday evening at an event in London.
The fund has adjusted its format for this year with a focus on bringing key expertise into more designer businesses to assist with their development and growth.
That meant the decision was taken for the £200,000 Fund potentially to be shared by up to three recipients, although in the event it was only two.
The BFC said the change allows it to help multiple designers at a pivotal stage in their brand’s development. As usual, the winners will receive a full mentoring programme through the BFC’s Business Support team, including access to funders and industry experts.
Outgoing British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, who chairs the Fund, said the two winning labels “are very different in terms of the clothes they offer and the way they operate but both convinced us that we were backing brands with strong potential who understood how they could grow and who had an exciting vision.”
BFC chief executive Caroline Rush added that the designers “impressed the panel with the clear vision they had for the future of their businesses, and showed a real understanding of how this money could be used to benefit and future-proof the growth of their brands.”
Other shortlisted labels included Huishan Zhang, Osman, Shrimps, Sophie Hulme and Toogood while the judges included Browns founder Joan Burtstein, outgoing Topshop chief Mary Homer, Farfetch’s Susanne Tide-Frater and Samantha Cameron.
The Fund has a strong history of sponsoring future fashion stars with Christopher Kane, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto and Sophia Webster all having previously won in its eight-year history.
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