The British Fashion Council (BFC) is delighted to announce the second round of recipients of the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund, supporting creative fashion businesses and individuals to survive the Covid-19 crisis. Following on from the initial £1 million emergency fund distributed in May, the BFC raised a further £500,000 that are now being distributed in grants to an additional 30 British designer businesses. Support is allocated to viable businesses depending on their urgency and capability to come through and thrive post crisis.
Recipients for the Fund are:
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
Caroline Rush, Chief Executive BFC said: “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.”
Funding decisions were based on a number of factors including viability of the business going forward, creative talent, employment and turnover. The BFC took the decision to support Fashion East designers in creating collections this season 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 was established in March 2020, to support creative fashion businesses and individuals to survive the Covid-19 crisis. In May 2020, the BFC gave financial support and mentoring to 37 British designer businesses, with grants taken from an initial £1,000,000 emergency fund. This first round of 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/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund supported by JD.COM,INC, BFC Fashion Trust and BFC NEWGEN.
Subsequently, the organisation fundraised an additional £500,000, allowing for applications to reopen for a second round in July. 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.
The BFC would like to thank Alexander McQueen, Amazon Fashion, Browns, Cadogan, Clearpay, The Coach Foundation and John Lewis & Partners for their generous donations. 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. Participating designers include Halpern, Julien Macdonald, Liam Hodges, Mulberry, RAEBURN and RIXO. Retailers for the project include ASOS, Boots, John Lewis & Partners, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose & Partners.
The BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the Covid Crisis has seen over 350 applications to date. All applicants that did not receive funding through this round, 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.