On Thursday 18th May, our BFC Foundation Patrons came out in full force to celebrate the annual BFC Foundation Impact Day. Two separate events took place at 180 Soho House; The Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design and the BFC / Vogue Designer Fashion Fund winner announcement.
For the first event, we celebrated the impact of the BFC Foundation, bringing together its annual programme of talent support initiatives. It was here too where we were delighted to announce that LABRUM London is the latest recipient of The Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. His Majesty King Charles III presented the award to founder and creative director Foday Dumbuya.
In the financial year 2022/2023, the BFC remitted £1.2m in funds to designers and scholars via its charity, the BFC Foundation. £1.1m was paid via the BFC’s grant giving initiatives including scholarships and talent support schemes BFC NEWGEN, BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund, BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund and BFC Fashion Trust. £139,200 was paid to designers through brand partnership collaborations secured by the BFC for its charity, the BFC Foundation, and its talent support initiatives.
Founded by creative director Foday Dumbuya in 2015, this year’s recipient LABRUM London is known for its representation of West African culture through a modern lens. The brand’s philosophy is centred on creating directional and purposeful pieces, by narrating untold stories of the diaspora. The label expertly fuses West African culture with traditional British heritage through reinterpreted, functional silhouettes and distinctive prints.
His Majesty has long been involved with the British fashion industry, having launched London’s inaugural menswear fashion week in June 2012 at St James’ Palace. A champion of sustainable fashion, His Majesty has longstanding ties with the Campaign for Wool and launched the Terra Carta to place sustainability at the heart of the private sector.
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive British Fashion Council commented: “We are honoured to welcome His Majesty King Charles III, particulary so soon after his Coronation and at 180 Strand, where we welcomed Queen Elizabeth II to launch the Award in 2018. We are delighted to announce LABRUM London as this year’s recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design as we celebrate the impact of the BFC Foundation over the last year. Foday’s designs beautifully bridge the story of his West African heritage with his life in London and the history of British tailoring. His works speaks to what is so unique and compelling about the U.K. as a leader in creative and fashion talent. At the BFC, we recognise our responsibility to support these incredible British emerging designers as they develop into self-sustaining businesses and are honoured and proud to continue to do so, particularly in the current economic climate as funding for the arts diminishes.”
At the second event, co-hosted by Edward Enninful, Editor-in-Chief, British VOGUE and European Editorial Director, VOGUE and Sabrina Elba, Humanitarian and BFC Foundation Advisory Committee Member, we celebrated this year’s winner of the BFC/VOGUE Deisgner Fashion Fund, 16Arlington.
Established in 2008, the Fund provides the winner with a cash prize of £150,00 to support their growth and contribution to the British and global fashion ecosystem, alongside pro-bono bespoke high-level buisness mentoring and profressional services. The Fund also recieves the very generous support of British VOGUE, Burberry and Paul Smith.
Sabrina Elba said: "It's a pleasure to be collaborating with the BFC Foundation and Vogue in support of British designers. I had the privilege of meeting Marco almost a year ago after fanning over his talent, but I was struck immediately by his kindness and honestly. There is no one more deserving of this award."