The British Fashion Council announces the shortlist for the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund supported by Vertu.
BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund shortlist 2015: Astrid Andersen, Christopher Raeburn, E.Tautz, Matthew Miller and Sibling
Dylan Jones OBE, Editor of British GQ and Chair of London Collections Men commented, “Over the last year the global menswear market has grown faster than womenswear showing that there has never been a more important time to drive support for accomplished British designer menswear businesses. The opportunities surrounding menswear are still underexploited, which is why we at GQ thought it was so important to launch this menswear fund. It is fantastic to be working with Vertu and the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund panel to lead the charge when it comes to high level mentoring and support. With this year’s outstanding shortlist of talented designers it’ll be hard to predict the winner - each of them is in good shape to scoop fashion’s biggest menswear prize.”
The judging panel agreed that each of the shortlisted designers were in a strong position to develop into a global designer brand and ready for the level of support the Fund offers. The shortlisted designers will participate in a mentoring programme developed by the BFC over the next month, where industry experts will provide guidance on topics including branding, leadership, commercial retail, e-tail and wholesale and digital innovation.
Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO of Vertu commented: “Vertu is delighted to be supporting the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund for the second year. As a British brand operating globally, we are well aware of the challenges young businesses can face as they build their brand and expand into new markets. The opportunity to mentor exciting, new, British designers and bring to bear our commercial expertise and experience in growing a brand that combines design and craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology, is something I and my colleagues relish. We have shortlisted five young designers with the talent and tenacity to bring something new and exciting to menswear and I am now looking forward to seeing which of them will raise their game even further through the mentoring process.”
Vertu, the world’s leading luxury mobile manufacturer and lead partner on the Fund, will play a key role in the mentoring programme and give access to its team of business leaders in technology, global distribution, legal and finance. The shortlisted designers will pitch their business plans to a judging panel on 12th May 2015 when the winner of the Fund will be selected.
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council, commented “The standard of applications this season was extremely high and really proves how far the shortlisted designers have come whilst demonstrating the strength and growth of the British menswear industry. We look forward to working with the designers over the coming months across mentoring sessions and helping them to further develop their brands.”
The Fund provides one designer with a bespoke, high level mentoring support programme over a twelve month period, as well as a £150,000 grant to provide necessary infrastructure to take them to the next stage in their business and £50,000 value in kind services. The Fund is aimed at businesses that have been trading for a minimum of three years, with UK and international stockists and have graduated through the existing BFC talent support schemes or are at a similar stage in their business.
For more information visit www.britishfashioncouncil.com/designermenswearfund
For press enquiries please contact
Charlotte Gray, British Fashion Council, +44 (0) 20 7759 1959