Dear BFC Community - A Letter from David Pemsel, BFC Chair

31 January 2024

Dear BFC Community,

2024 is an exciting year for the British Fashion Council as we celebrate 40 years of London Fashion Week (LFW) presented by our newly announced Principal Partner 1664 Blanc. For me, this represents 40 years of the role of London and the UK as a creative disruptor and is an opportunity to celebrate British fashion on the world stage! We look forward to engaging with the international audience, both trade and consumers and bring to life the stories of our exceptional creative community.

The UK fashion industry has disproportionate creative impact on the industry globally. This was evident at The Fashion Awards presented by Pandora in December which celebrated our brilliant British talent alongside international brands and raised the largest amount the Awards has delivered to date with almost £900k going to the BFC Foundation Charity. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this success.

We have recently published our Annual Report for the year 22/23 which reflects the need for evolution. Now, in the fourth quarter of the financial year 23/24, business continues to be challenging at times for many, including the BFC. I am impressed by the speed at which Caroline and her team have been able to adjust and deliver impact through our updated strategy. We have focused on the business needs of Members and Patrons while securing commercial, public and philanthropic support for our programmes and platforms. Our role in developing the future of the UK fashion industry is only possible in partnership with you our network, our commercial partners and government and we encourage you to continue to play an active role in this vital work.

As promised, each quarter I will update you with what we have achieved collectively and highlight what is coming up. This is laid out under our strategic pillars below:


By Relentless Innovation 
For businesses at all stages to prepare for positive change through embracing innovation.

British fashion can be a catalyst of change in core commercial and cultural areas of the industry through Diversity Equity & Inclusion; Digital Fashion; and positive environmental practices through our Institute of Positive Fashion. 


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

On the 23rd January, in partnership with The Outsiders Perspective, The (Fashion) Minority Report and McKinsey & Company as knowledge partner, we launched The UK Fashion DEI Report, the first comprehensive review of the state of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the UK Fashion industry. Based upon the findings from The UK Fashion DEI Census and other new data sets, the report reveals that despite a demonstrable shift, the sector can accomplish much more by diversifying its corporate representation. There is an intrinsic link between leadership diversity and company performance – and the report sets out a business case with measurable levers to accelerate diversity, talent recruitment and retention. See report here.


  • The Institute of Positive Fashion Forum (IPF Forum) will take place on 18th April at 180 Studios. Please look out for communication. As a paying member of our community, you will receive one free ticket.
  • The Circular Fashion Innovation Network (CFIN), in partnership with UK Fashion & Textile (UKFT) and UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) will shape an Industrial Scale Change Programme for the UK Fashion Industry to help us not only keep pace but lead in circularity and innovation. If you would like to stay informed or play more of an active role in CFIN please register your interest here.
  • Through the Low Carbon Transition Programme, the BFC is helping London based SME’s including micro businesses to decarbonise their supply chain. We have set a target to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of 50 of our members businesses over the next 3 years. This work is funded by the Shared Prosperity Fund, and the broader learning will be shared with all our community.

By Fuelling Responsible Growth

We will create connections, insights and advisory opportunities for our dynamic, inclusive, and unified community to come together to collectively support our industry to grow, to prepare for regulation and for talent to gain access.


Member and Patron Events

  • The BFC has supported our designer members with three in-person seminars between September 2023 and January 2024. In October, Angela Farrugia hosted a seminar on Brand as Business and in November, Sian Westerman and Mark Esiri hosted a dynamic session on Finance and Raising Capital. Earlier this month, law firm Mishcon de Reya hosted a seminar on Intellectual Property with updates on AI.
  • Thank you to the BFC Patrons who have hosted mentoring sessions for our designer members. Over 50 new sessions have been made available in the last quarter across topics including; Environmental Sustainability, Business Strategy, Production & Supply Chain. We invite all Patrons to engage with the BFC Industry Mentor Hub on the Patron Portal, to keep supporting our community of designer members, if you would like to get involved, please contact the team.
  • We provided all BFC Members with the opportunity to donate deadstock fabrics to the BFC Student Fabric Initiative powered by the materialist. The initiative gives students studying at a BFC Colleges Council member universities free access to quality deadstock materials.
  • We have recently appointed a Deputy Director of Policy and Engagement, David Leigh-Pemberton, who joins us from the Society of London Theatres. David will work with Members and Patrons on policy priorities with government and host policy roundtables and webinars for members on new and upcoming regulation.

I am delighted to welcome to our new BFC Patrons; The Cadogan Estate, The Pollen Estate, The Crown Estate, The Shaftesbury Estate, Primark, Landsec, Battersea Power Station, Dune London, Russell & Bromley and Brand Hanger. And Designer MembersAlosh London, Bad Habits London, Bella Freud, Dela Eva, Emile Videl Carr, Expio. Georgina HArdinge, Halfpenny London, Hotlips by Solange, Itla Studio, Julita London, LArAllan, Leblon London, Lily Phellera, Matty Bovan, Misho, Muubba, Odd Muse, Selezza London, Sl’eau, SRVC, Tammam, Treddenick.

BFC Foundation

By Amplifying our Narrative Globally

We will continue to evolve our platforms to amplify excellence in creativity and its role in the UK’s cultural influence.


The Fashion Awards

The Fashion Awards 2023 presented by Pandora took place on 4th December 2023 at the Royal Albert Hall and welcomed guests from around the world to celebrate excellence in the global fashion industry, with a particular focus on the British talent. It was a fantastic evening which recognised the role of fashion at the intersection of culture and brought to life the strength of the UK’s creative industries – there were outstanding performances from Mette, Sam Smith and an incredible fashion show from Valentino to recognise Valentino Garavani’s Outstanding Achievement Award. 

Over 3000 people attended the event in person and the reach was impressive with 392M views of #FASHIONAWARDS on TikTok, 34million impressions across channels, over 45,000 articles globally as well as raising significant funds for the BFC Foundation Charity.  I want to say thank you to Pandora who partnered on the event for the first time, to our other partners and to everyone who contributed to its success through table and ticket sales.

London Fashion Week presented by 1664 Blanc Celebrates 40 Years

London Fashion Week presented by 1664 Blanc is a global cultural platform which amplifies the diverse British creative community on a global stage and celebrates London as a world leading fashion capital. As LFW celebrates its 40th anniversary, the BFC will host a year-long celebration that will spotlight and celebrate the UK as a global creative powerhouse.

February 16th-20th

The LFW40 campaign kicks off in February and we have announced 1664 Blanc as our new Principal Partner. On Thursday 14th February we will launch a Love Letter from London Fashion Week to London before lighting up a number of London Landmarks across the city.

The schedule hosts over 80 designers and we look forward to showcasing them to our international audiences. The NEWGEN Show Space returns to the Old Selfridges hotel supported by the Department of Culture Media and Sport.

On behalf of the BFC Board, I want to take this opportunity to thank you, our partners, BFC Patrons, BFC Designer Members and the broader BFC Community, without whom this work would not be possible. Over the coming months, there will be more opportunities for us to hear from you, and for you to both find and offer connections, insight and advice as a key member of the British fashion community. We invite you to get involved.

Our mission is to champion British fashion as a creative force on the world stage. We do this by continuing to bolster our pioneering world-class programmes that unlock and elevate creative talent. Our work and success is fuelled by you, an extraordinary diverse and inspiring community of creatives, advocates, icons, experts and fans. 

Together we can have demonstratable impact and I look forward to seeing you all soon.


Very best wishes,

David Pemsel
BFC Chair

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