Today the new recipients of financial and mentoring support from the Fashion Trust are announced. Grants totalling £300,000 will be split between nine designers: David Koma, Emilia Wickstead, Holly Fulton, Marios Schwab, Mother of Pearl, palmer//harding, Prism, Sibling and Sophia Webster.
“The generous support from the BFC Fashion Trust will see important financial awards go to nine of the UK’s talented designers. Their fashion labels have shown exciting growth and both individually and collectively their businesses reinforce the UK’s reputation for creative strength.” - Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive British Fashion Council
The Graduate Traineeship Programme which has been in pilot over the last year and is funded by donations from the Fashion Trust members is also announced. The programme offers BA and MA design graduates the opportunity to apply for a twelve month paid placement with one of London Fashion Week’s fashion designers. The structured twelve month programme ensures graduates are able to develop skills and are exposed to different elements of a design team. The development plan is split into three stages, ensuring progression within the role and business. The introduction phase includes assisting and preparing; the participation phase will crystallise the process of planning a collection and the contribution phase will see graduates explore the conception stages of a collection.
In the first year, two students from the Royal College of Art were placed within the businesses of Roksanda and Erdem.
Tania Fares and Kim Hersov, Co-chairs BFC Fashion Trust said: “British fashion is recognised globally for its energy and inventiveness which is why we need to support the industry at grass roots. The Fashion Trust will continue to support talented designer labels so that the UK can continue to build the brands of the future.”
About the BFC Fashion Trust:
The Fashion Trust is a British Fashion Council initiative, founded in February 2011 to offer selected designers business support through mentoring and financial awards to promote the art and business of fashion. This philanthropic programme has been created and developed in partnership with its co-chairs Tania Fares and Kim Hersov, and the Founder Member Committee.
The designers benefiting from the programme gain access to a network of advisors, mentors and businesses, including Taylor Wessing which specialises in copyright and IP law; global investment firm Rothschild, and The Future Laboratory, which delivers trend forecasting, consumer insight and brand strategy to the luxury and fashion sectors. The designer support programme also includes a wide range of seminars throughout the year to help strengthen the designers’ knowledge and understanding of topics linked directly to their business.
Previous years’ recipients of grants and pro bono mentoring include Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, House of Holland, Marios Schwab, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Osman, Peter Pilotto, Richard Nicoll, Roksanda Ilincic, Michael van der Ham, Todd Lynn and Zoe Jordon providing invaluable support to each developing business.
Funds are raised through membership to an annual fashion insight and cultural programme. The BFC Fashion Trust Founder Member Committee has played a key role in broadening the designers’ access to entrepreneurs across all fields of business and creativity and supporting the co-chairs in developing the membership programme.
The Founder Member Committee includes Belma Gaudio, Deborah Brett, Felicia Brocklebank, Joanna Przetakiewicz, Kate Haslett, Kim Hersov, Leon Max, Megha Mittal, Natalie Livingstone, Nicoletta Fiorucci, Tania Fares, Terry de Gunzburg and Yassmin Ghandehari.
In addition, Jessica de Rothschild in LA and Yana Peel in Hong Kong have curated dynamic networks of individuals interested in supporting British designers to better understand international markets. The Fashion Trust has grown to include over 66 members.