BFC Education Programme

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 BFC Education Programme

At the annual Graduate Preview Day on Friday - an opportunity for fashion industry professionals to view the talent emerging from the UK’s top fashion colleges - Meribeth Parker and Sarah Mower MBE, co-presidents of the British Fashion Council (BFC) Education Pillar, announced the winners of four new design competitions.

Also on display were pieces by the recently awarded BFC Education Foundation: BA Scholarship recipients and graduating MA Scholarship recipients.

These students represent the brightest stars studying and graduating at the UK’s world renowned art schools. They have been chosen by panels made up of industry insiders and follow on from scholarship recipients and prize winners who have gone on to become influential players in the global fashion industry.

Competition Winners Awarded

The BFC continues to work with global players in the fashion industry to pioneer a programme of industry-led events, seminars and competitions. At the annual Graduate Preview Day winners of the Burberry Fashion Design competition, Jigsaw & Pongees Evening-wear competition, Topshop & Topman Graduate Talent competition and The Anne Tyrrell MBE Outstanding Portfolio competition were announced.

Burberry Design Competition

The Burberry Design competition in partnership with the BFC allowed students to explore the idea of cross-industry collaborations. The first prize will be an award of £2,000 and a three month placement at Burberry, while the top two runners up will receive a three month placement with the Burberry design team.

Clara Mercer, Head of Communications, BFC
Luc Goidadin, Burberry Chief Design Officer, Burberry 
Paula Reed, Director of Brand Strategy, Boutique 1 Group
Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent and Trustee of the Education Foundation

2016 Winner: Rhys McKenna, Edinburgh College of Art
Runners-up: Jonathan Preston Moore, Edinburgh College of Art & Fiona Cartmel, Edinburgh College of Art

Jigsaw Design Competition in Partnership with Pongees, International Silk Merchants

The brief explores the use of silk for the Jigsaw AW16 collection and gives students the opportunity to design a capsule range of eveningwear. The winning student’s garment will be put into production and will be sold by Jigsaw as part of its AW16 collections from September 2016. 

Leith Clark, Editor in Chief at Violet Magazine and Style Director at Large at Harper’s Bazaar
Meribeth Parker, Co-President of the BFC Education Pillar 
Nick Moore, Sales Director, Pongees
Shailina Parti, Buying and Merchandising Director, Jigsaw
Will Steele, Managing Director, Pongees

2016 Winner: Eppyar Hunt, Manchester Metropolitan University

The Anne Tyrrell MBE Outstanding Portfolio

In association with the British Fashion Council, this award honours the best portfolios from both the student and college. The winning college receives subscriptions for two of their best students to WGSN, the industry’s leading provider of contacts, news and events.

Anna Orsini, Strategic Consultant at British Fashion Council 
Danielle Windsor, Freelance Designer
Lauretta Roberts, Director of Brand and Propositions at WGSN

2016 Winner: Royal College of Art

Topshop/Topman Design Competition

Now in its fourth year, the British Fashion Council, TOPSHOP and TOPMAN partnership seeks the best new talent. The Graduate Design Programme offered two winning students a prestigious twelve month paid internship at TOPSHOP and TOPMAN.

Melanie Rowson, Design Manager, Topshop
Miriam Ibanez, Design Manager, Topman
Susan Hewett, Head of Design, Topman

TOPMAN Winner 2016: Jonathan Preston Moore, Edinburgh College of Art
TOPSHOP Winner 2016: Hollie France, Northumbria University

Jessica Herndlhofer, previous Topshop winner said, “It was such a great opportunity securing a 12 month graduate placement with TOPSHOP. I've really enjoyed my time here, getting to work for a global fashion brand and experiencing such a dynamic and fast-paced creative environment. I feel I've learnt so much working with designers who all share the same passion to bring new and exciting ideas to the high street. I feel this past year has given me a solid foundation as I continue my career in fashion design." 

Graduating MA Scholarship Recipients

This year the 2014 MA scholarship recipients graduate:
Emmeline Kellett, Knitted Textiles at the Royal College of Art
Grace Weller, Fashion Womenswear at Central Saint Martins
Taja Bokek, Fashion Womenswear: Accessories at Royal College of Art

Graduated BA Scholarship Recipients

The BFC introduced a pilot scheme in 2015 to award scholarships for undergraduate design students for the first time. The five students that were awarded with scholarships all graduated with a First Class Honours and have gone onto postgraduate study or employment.

Gabriel Castro received a First Class Honours Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Fashion design Menswear at Central Saint Martins. In May 2015, Gabriel was one of the winners of the LVMH graduate prize. As part of the prize he was awarded a one year contract working with one of the houses of the LVMH group. Since September, Gabriel has been working as a menswear design assistant at Kenzo in Paris.

Gabriele Skucas
received a First Class Honours Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Fashion Knitwear at Central Saint Martins. Since September, Gabriele has started working on her Master of Arts (M.A.) in Fashion Knitwear at Central Saint Martins. Skucas said, “Having the support from the British Fashion Council was invaluable, allowing me to give time and attention to my work.” 

Gabriella Sardena received a First Class Honours Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Fashion Design at The Manchester Metropolitan University. Gabriella started her Master of Arts (M.A.) at Central Saint Martins earlier this year and has been awarded with a BFC MA Scholarship for 2015 to 2017.

Lee Bodkin
received a First Class Honours Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Fashion Design Womenswear at Central Saint Martins. Since September, Lee has started working on his Master of Arts (M.A.) in Fashion Design Womenswear at Central Saint Martin’s. Bodkin said, “I honestly think that if I had limitations in regards to my financial situation I would not have had the confidence to take risks and allow the process of my final collection to naturally develop. Thus hindering my creativity and limiting all of the possibilities.”

Sara Brown received a First Class Honours Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Fashion Design at the University of Westminster. Sara was the successful winner of a competition organised by Maxmara and is now working at Marina Rinaldi in Italy.

The BFC Education Foundation aims to attract talented young people into the industry and the success of the programme is evident by the final year BA students selected in 2015, who all graduated with First Class degrees. This has only been made possible by the immense generosity of the BFC Education Foundation donors: Charlotte Olympia, Coach, Eiesha Bharti Pasricha Marks & Spencer, Mulberry and Dame Natalie Massenet. The project has also been partly supported by HM Government with Employer Ownership funding through Creative Skillset.
Following the announcement that this year’s Fashion Awards will raise funds for the British Fashion Council Education Foundation which attracts and supports future talent through various initiatives. Dame Natalie Massenet has pledged that over the next ten years the aim is to raise £10million to invest in the young talent we have here in London. 

“The UK has undoubtedly the world’s leading reputation when it comes to art schools. The BFC is dedicated to securing future talent and establishing pathways through education and into employment. This includes working with global fashion players and businesses to support scholarships and competitions to support the most talented design students. We also recognise that institutionalised education and specific design courses are not for everyone. We are so pleased to announce a new apprenticeship programme that will help young people to learn about all areas of the fashion industry and also the Saturday Clubs which will provide even younger people the opportunity to learn about the fashion industry.” Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive British Fashion Council.

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For further information on the BFC Education Foundation and BFC Colleges Council, please contact:
Lucy Mountain
+44 (0) 20 7759 1943

For press enquiries, please contact:
Will Iron
+44 (0) 20 7759 1968