The British Fashion Council (BFC) is delighted to announce TikTok, the leading destination for short-form mobile video, as Principal Partner of its longest and most internationally celebrated talent identification scheme, NEWGEN. The BFC and TikTok will work together to create a bespoke programme of activity for all NEWGEN recipients, including streaming support of designer shows, mentoring, masterclasses and digital support for the recipients. TikTok will host a NEWGEN venue during London Fashion Week September 2021, with designer shows, content creation and hospitality opportunities. This partnership will also enable even more innovative fashion content to be shared across the entire TikTok ecosystem.
Clearpay, a leader in “Buy Now, Pay Later” known as Afterpay outside of the UK, will also support BFC NEWGEN as Official Partner. Core to Clearpay’s business is supporting new and emerging brands, with the ultimate goal of accelerating the fashion and retail industry in 2021.
NEWGEN is the BFC’s first and most recognised talent identification scheme that supports excellence in design and aims to build global, high-end fashion brands of the future. The initiative offers designers financial grants, showcasing opportunities and, with support from the BFC Business Development Team and NEWGEN committee led by Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent, delivers individual mentoring and business training sessions to assist the designers as they develop their business infrastructure and skills. NEWGEN designers are identified by their creativity, strong design aesthetic and point of difference. Since its inception in 1993, NEWGEN has supported 250 designers and acted as a promotional launch pad for talent including Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Christopher Raeburn, Craig Green, Erdem Moralıoğlu, Grace Wales Bonner, Jonathan Anderson, Molly Goddard, Nicholas Kirkwood, Osman Yousefzada, Roksanda Ilinčić and Simone Rocha to name only a few.
Applications for NEWGEN 2021/22 are now open. Details on eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found here.
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council commented: “Supporting excellence is at the core of the British Fashion Council’s strategy. The past year was extremely challenging, and much of our support went towards businesses that needed the funds to overcome the pandemic. As we look towards the future, we are delighted to bring back NEWGEN for 2021/22 with the support of a new Principal Partner. The BFC always understood the changing nature of fashion and led the way in technology and innovation. This is why we are extremely proud to be the first international Fashion Council to partner with TikTok to support emerging talent and we look forward to working with the team to showcase the best of what British fashion has to offer.”
Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent and Chair of the NEWGEN committee commented: “NEWGEN has been here to back up extraordinary young talent, from Alexander McQueen onwards. It started in a dark economic time, and it’s here to continue exactly that now. The scheme offers business mentorship, financial support and a platform which flexes over time to support and amplify the changing ideas of the most exciting and socially significant young designers, who will shape the future. It’s more important than ever that the fashion community does its utmost to nurture and protect innovative start-ups in our inclusive British scene. We’re looking forward to seeing the energy and innovation that each and every applicant will bring.”
Rich Waterworth, General Manager TikTok commented: "We are delighted to be working with the British Fashion Council as the Principal Partner for NEWGEN. NEWGEN offers a unique opportunity for aspiring British designers and we are humbled to be a part of this journey in 2021, at a time when supporting emerging talent is more important than ever before. Creativity is at the heart of TikTok, it is a community where originality and individuality can flourish. In 2020 we saw creators from across the globe spark a knitting revival, through their love of NEWGEN alumni, JW Anderson's, now iconic cardigan; through this partnership with the BFC we hope to see even more moments of joy like this and inspire a whole new generation of British fashion talent.”
NEWGEN is part of the BFC Foundation (Registered Charity Number: 1185152) which brings all of the BFC’s charitable initiatives under one umbrella supporting the future growth and success of the British fashion industry by focusing on three areas: Education, Grant-Giving & Business Mentoring and Institute of Positive Fashion. In 2020 at the onset of the COVID Crisis the decision was taken to pool all talent support grants to make available more than one million pounds of emergency funding via the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the Covid Crisis. This formed survival grants for designer fashion businesses to support those who needed it most during this crisis. Since April 2020, 67 designers were supported with over £1.5m allocated through the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the Covid Crisis.
2019/20 NEWGEN recipients were: A-COLD-WALL*, Ahluwalia, Alighieri, ASAI, Bethany Williams, Bianca Saunders, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, Halpern, ISOSCELES Lingerie, Matty Bovan, Nicholas Daley, paria /FARZANEH, Per Götesson, Richard Malone, Richard Quinn, Roker, Stefan Cooke, Supriya Lele and NEWGEN ONE TO WATCH; Eftychia.
To coincide with the partnership, the BFC has launched a TikTok account dedicated to NEWGEN. Follow @bfcnewgen on TikTok!
With thanks to DLA Piper for their pro-bono legal services, RSM for their pro-bono business management services and the rest of our Fashion Business Network and one-to-one Mentors.