The BFC Foundation Fashion Fund was established in March 2020 to support creative fashion businesses and individuals to survive the Coronavirus crisis. The BFC, through its charity the BFC Foundation, is supporting the industry through emergency funding with the majority supporting designer businesses and with a portion of funds also allocated to students, underpinning the future generation of creative talent.
“We have seen an astonishing amount of applications come through from British designer businesses all over the country, asking for help to survive the crisis. The need for support is immense. Our hope is to re-open the fund for future rounds, to help as many businesses as possible, and ensure the future growth and success of the British fashion industry.”
Caroline Rush, Chief Executive BFC
In July the BFC raised a further £500,000, allowing for applications to open for a second round, that were distributed to an additional 30 British designer businesses.
The BFC would like to thank Alexander McQueen, Amazon Fashion, Browns, Cadogan, Clearpay, Coach Foundation and John Lewis & Partners for their generous donations to enable a second round of grants. Profits from the sales of the Great British Designers Face Coverings project in collaboration with Bags of Ethics also contributed to reaching the first milestone. Retailers for the project include ASOS, Boots, John Lewis & Partners, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.
Support is allocated to viable businesses depending on their urgency and capability to come through and thrive post crisis. Recipients of the second round of Funds were:
CAMILLA ELPHICK, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, clothsurgeon, Cottweiler, Danshan, Emilia Wickstead, EUDON CHOI, Feng Chen Wang, Fyodor Golan, Goomheo (Fashion East), Helen Kirkum, Liam Hodges, Marques'Almeida, Maximilian (Fashion East), MOLLY GODDARD, Mother of Pearl, Nensi Dojaka (Fashion East), Nicholas Daley, Olubiyi Thomas, OSMAN YOUSEFZADA, PREEN BY THORNTON BREGAZZI, PRISM, RACIL, Richard Malone, Roberts | Wood, Rokh, Saul Nash (Fashion East), Sharon Wauchob, Ssōne, SUPRIYA LELE, Teatum Jones, TEIJA, Thom Sweeney, Wicker Wings
In May the BFC announced the first round of recipients of the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund, with financial support given to 37 British designer businesses, with grants taken from the £1,000,000 emergency funds available, allocated to viable businesses depending on their urgency and capability to come through and thrive post crisis.
Recipients of the first round of the Fund were:
Alighieri (VDFF 2020), 16Arlington, Ahluwalia, Aries, ART SCHOOL, Bethany Williams, BIANCA SAUNDERS, Chalayan, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY (VDFF 2020), Chopova Lowena, CRAIG GREEN, David Koma (VDFF 2020), E. Tautz, E.L.V. DENIM, Edeline Lee, EFTYCHIA, Halpern (VDFF 2020), King & Tuckfield, Kwaidan Editions, Liam Hodges, Matty Bovan, Metier (VDFF 2020), Nabil Nayal, NEOUS, Nicholas Daley, palmer//harding, PAPER LONDON, paria /FARZANEH, PER GOTESSON, Phoebe English, RAEBURN, Rejina Pyo (VDFF 2020), Richard Malone, RICHARD QUINN, ROKSANDA, Stefan Cooke, Toogood.
Round 1 funding was made possible through pooling the BFC talent support grants that would have traditionally been awarded for either early stage showcasing support or business growth and promotion. BFC would like to thank all of those that made the first round possible and our partners in the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, BFC/GQ
Designer Menswear Fund supported by JD.COM,INC, BFC Fashion Trust and BFC NEWGEN.
BFC would like to thank all of those that made the funds for the initial first round possible and our partners in the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund supported by JD.COM,INC, BFC Fashion Trust and BFC NEWGEN: ARCH & HOOK, BFC Fashion Trust Supporters, British GQ, British Vogue, Browns, Burberry, depop, European Regional Development Fund, HSBC, JD.COM,INC, Label/Mix, Mayor of London, Paul Smith, Revlon Professional, Rodial and The Bicester Village Shopping Collection.
As fundraising continues, the BFC has called on both Government to step in to work with them on significant industry stimulus, and on the industry and individuals to support the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the Covid Crisis through donations, so that more businesses can be supported at this time.
“The UK leads the way in the number of highly creative, entrepreneurial and responsible SMEs in the global fashion industry. Protecting these businesses through the most challenging period we have all faced has been a priority and the need for funds is still great. We are extremely grateful for each and every one of our funders and hope to continue scaling the fund to help secure the future of the next generation of designer businesses. This is a critical moment to protect British fashion’s global position and reputation in terms of creative designer fashion businesses.”
Caroline Rush, Chief Executive BFC
Funding decisions are based on a number of factors including viability of the business going forward, creative talent, employment and turnover. In the second round the BFC took the decision to support Fashion East designers in creating collections, to secure the pipeline of creatives from the talent launchpad led by Lulu Kennedy which celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year. A small number of start-up stage businesses were also supported to create collections for continuity based on their exceptional creativity. In line with the BFC’s focus on diversity & inclusion, the organisation ensured all funding panels had increased diversity.
The BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the Covid Crisis has seen over 350 applications to date. The recipients were able to apply for a maximum of £50,000 and will also be given access to BFC business support and mentoring from the BFC’s Fashion Business Network plus individual expert one-to-one mentors from across the business value chain. All applicants that did not receive funding through these rounds, will be informed on new rounds of funding, government support schemes and webinars to collectively help businesses in these challenging times. The organisation continues to fundraise and will reopen applications every time the £500,000 milestone is reached.