Today, the British Fashion Council (BFC) is delighted to announce its annual programme of talent support and impact. In 2020/21, the BFC raised £1.7 million for its charity, the BFC Foundation (Registered Charity Number: 1185152), and its talent support initiatives. This year (2021/22) the BFC and the BFC Foundation will support 34 designers and a number of students through mentoring and financial support grants.
The BFC Foundation supports the future growth and success of the British fashion industry by focusing on education, grant-giving and business mentoring, further enhancing the UK’s position as the best place to study, start and develop a fashion business. The charity activates four support initiatives and allocates several scholarships each year to students, aiming to strengthen those leading the way in terms of creativity, positive business growth, environmental and community impact as well as to increase the diversity of the talent pool. The support initiatives are: BFC NEWGEN in partnership with TikTok, BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund, BFC Fashion Trust and BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. In line with the BFC’s strategic pillars NEWGEN in partnership with TikTok, BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund and the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund support creativity in business while BFC Fashion Trust empowers growth.
The BFC Foundation formally brought together all the BFC grant giving in 2020. It is solely reliant on the generosity of individuals, foundations and companies and is funded through charitable donations including those received from BFC Partners and the new BFC Foundation Patron programme spearheaded by the charity’s co-chairs Tania Fares and Narmina Marandi. As part of this, Clearpay, London Fashion Week’s Principal Partner have underwritten funding gaps in the schemes, making the ‘Buy-Now Pay-Later’ company the first ever partner to support all initiatives in addition to London Fashion Week. Core to Clearpay’s business is supporting new and emerging brands, with the goal of accelerating the fashion and retail industry in 2021 and beyond. Today, the BFC is thrilled to announce the recipients of its initiatives for 2021/22.
CHARITABLE GRANTS FOR CREATIVE EXCELLENCE IN BUSINESS:
NEWGEN IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TIKTOK
NEWGEN is the most established designer development scheme globally and designers are identified by their creativity, strong design aesthetic and point of difference. NEWGEN supports the very best emerging talent and aims to build global, high end fashion brands of the future. This year TikTok joined NEWGEN as its Principal partner, supporting the organisation in creating a bespoke programme of activity for NEWGEN recipients. The 2021/22 NEWGEN in partnership with TikTok recipients are:
NEWGEN sponsorship is awarded annually to womenswear, menswear and accessories designers and offers designers financial support, showcasing opportunities and mentoring to develop critical business skills to future proof their businesses. The BFC delivers individual mentoring and business training sessions to assist the designers as they develop their infrastructure, with pro-bono legal services from DLA Piper, and Tax and Accounting support from RSM. The NEWGEN committee is led by Sarah Mower MBE, the NEWGEN Accessories panel is chaired by Stephen Jones OBE, Founder Stephen Jones and Stephen Webster MBE, Founder Stephen Webster.
Follow the newly launched BFC NEWGEN TikTok account to find out more about all the new recipients @bfcnewgen.
NEWGEN Recipents 202/21: Ahluwalia l ART SCHOOL l ASAI l Bianca Saunders l Conner Ives l EFTYCHIA l FEBEN l HELEN KIRKUM l Labrum London l Matty Bovan l Nensi Dojaka l Paolo Carzana l Per Götesson l Richard Quinn l ROBYN LYNCH l ROKER l S.S.DALEY l Saul Nash l Stefan Cooke l SUPRIYA LELE l yuhan wang
BFC/GQ DESIGNER MENSWEAR FUND
Established in 2013, the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund aims to celebrate exceptional talent and empower businesses to play their part in positive growth through bespoke high-level business mentoring, pro-bono legal services from Sheridans, professional services and awarding a cash prize. All shortlisted designers are invited to present their collections and business plan to a panel of experts chaired by Dylan Jones OBE, BFC Menswear Chair and Editor of British GQ.
Today the BFC is delighted to reveal the shortlisted designers for the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund. The winner will be announced during London Fashion Week June 2021.
BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund Shortlist: Ahluwalia l Bethany Williams l Bianca Saunders l Feng Chen Wang | Nicholas Daley l Stefan Cooke
BFC/Vogue DESIGNER Fashion Fund
Established in 2008, the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund celebrates exceptional talent and empowers businesses to play their part in positive growth through bespoke mentoring and awarding of a £200,000, taking their business to the next level. The winner of the 2021 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund was announced on 5th May 2021.
Alighieri, ASAI, Bethany Williams, Chopova Lowena, Completedworks, E.L.V. Denim, Halpern, Kwaidan Editions, Olubiyi Thomas, Richard Malone and Supriya Lele were all shortlisted for the 2021 prize and were invited to present their collections and business plan to a panel of experts chaired by Edward Enninful OBE, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue and European Editorial Director, Vogue. All shortlisted designers receive a full mentoring programme through the BFC’s Business Support team, with access to funders, industry experts, and pro-bono legal services from Mishcon de Reya. The Fund receives the generous support of British Vogue, Burberry, Clearpay and Paul Smith.
BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund Recipient: Bethany Williams
CHARITABLE GRANTS TO EMPOWER GROWTH:
BFC FASHION TRUST
The BFC Fashion Trust empowers positive business growth through financial grants and mentoring. It supports projects that enable brands to think strategically and accelerate positive business growth through finance, business support, and pro-bono legal services from Taylor Wessing. Grant money relates to a defined project that will be delivered within a set period. All recipients articulated how their project aligns to their broader business growth vision and shows a clear return on investment. For the first time, BFC Fashion Trust was open to all gender collections and/or accessories.
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive British Fashion Council commented: “Now, more than ever, it is important to champion talent and to support our emerging and young businesses that lead the way in environmental and community impact while increasing the diversity of the talent pool. The UK has a reputation of having some of the most innovative and creative talent and through the BFC Foundation, our aim is to improve equality, equity, and opportunity so that the fashion industry remains open to all. Congratulations to all the designers and a big thank you to all the funders, judges and mentors for making the UK’s talent support network one of the most robust in the global market.”
In support of this year’s initiatives, the BFC is also delighted to announce the launch of the BFC Industry Mentor Hub, a pilot mentoring scheme that will enable designer support opportunities across the fashion value chain between BFC initiative recipients (Industry Mentees) and teams from BFC Patrons (Industry Mentors). Thanks to the support and commitment of 5 Launch Patrons, the project aims to help emerging designers sustain and grow their businesses by gaining access to their expertise, industry knowledge and resources. The BFC Industry Mentor Hub Launch Patrons are: The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, Browns, Depop, Facebook, Marks & Spencer.
With thanks to the Fashion Business Network and one-to-one mentors.
BFC Fashion Trust Recipients: ART SCHOOL l Completedworks l E.L.V. DENIM l Halpern l NEOUS l Nicholas Daley l Wales Bonner