The British Fashion Council (BFC) today announces that three womenswear designers Henry Holland, Louise Gray and Mary Katrantzou and one menswear designer James Long, will receive Fashion Forward sponsorship for two consecutive seasons to show in London. James is the first menswear to receive support through this scheme.
Fashion Forward was established 6 years ago to provide funding to talented emerging British designer businesses to show and develop their businesses in London. To be eligible designers will either have progressed through NEWGEN or be at a similar stage in their business. London Fashion Week is the most creative and dynamic event on the international fashion calendar promoting established and emerging British design talent to a global audience. Fashion Forward is a key BFC initiative to promote emerging design talent. The award provides the winner with a cash prize to assist in showing their collection as well as access to business support provided by the BFC.
Fashion Forward applicants are judged by a panel of key industry representatives including Averyl Oates, Retail Expert; Caroline Rush, CEO, BFC; David Watts, Business Support Manager, BFC; Francesca Burns, Fashion Editor, Vogue; Ruth Chapman, Co-Founder, Matches and Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador of Emerging Talent, Contributing Editor to US Vogue and American Vogue.com.
Previous Fashion Forward winners include Christopher Kane, Erdem, Giles Deacon, Jonathan Saunders, Louise Goldin, Marios Schwab, Meadham Kirchoff, Peter Pilotto, Richard Nicoll, Roksanda Illincic, Sinha-Stanic and Todd Lynn.
Caroline Rush, CEO, British Fashion Council, commented “The recipients for this year’s Fashion Forward sponsorship are an exceptionally talented group of designers. 2012 is set to be a momentous year not only for fashion industry but the UK and I am looking forward to seeing Henry, Louise, James and Mary, taking strides forward in their business development. Menswear in London will be put in the spotlight this year making now the perfect time to introduce a menswear prize to Fashion Forward.”
Henry Holland, “I’m delighted to be receiving Fashion Forward sponsorship. It is a huge accolade for the brand and I am excited about what the future holds.”
James Long, “I'm very excited to receive the first Menswear Fashion Forward Award, its great to take the brand to the next level and be part of the on going support from the British Fashion Council - Thank you.”
Louise Gray, “I am thrilled to have been awarded Fashion Forward sponsorship for 2012 as this backing will allow me to develop my brand even further. I have so many exciting projects coming up this year and this is a great way to start things off!”
Mary Katrantzou, "I'm so excited to receive the Fashion Forward sponsorship for 2012! It's really important to have that support and it's testament to the strength of London Fashion Week and the BFC's initiative to nurture talent and help designers build an established business."
For press enquiries regarding this seasons Fashion Forward winners please contact:
Gemma Ebelis, British Fashion Council, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7759 1989
Image (left to right): Mary Katrantzou, Louise Gray, James Long & House of Holland SS12, backstage at London Fashion Week, September 2011.