16 May 2024

We're happy to announce Chopova Lowena as the winner of the 2024 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund (BFC/VDFF). Established in 2008, the Fund provides the winner with a cash prize of £150,000 to support business growth and their contribution to the British and global fashion ecosystem, alongside pro-bono bespoke high-level business mentoring and professional services. The Fund receives the very generous support of British Vogue, Burberry and Paul Smith.

Founded by Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena in 2017, Chopova Lowena is rooted in British and Bulgarian craftsmanship and vibrantly juxtaposes folklore references and sportswear. The brand prioritises sustainability, utilising recycled materials and deadstock textiles to create long lasting modern pieces with a punk twist. The duo’s signature piece, a recycled folkloric textile skirt, has taken the international street style scene by storm, positioning the brand, Emma and Laura as two of the UK’s most exciting and burgeoning design talents.

Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council, commented: “Congratulations to Emma and Laura on receiving this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund for Chopova Lowena. We were incredibly impressed by the duo’s bold and sustainable approach to design and craftsmanship. It’s been a pleasure to watch the brand go from strength to strength, gaining a devoted following and attaining cult status over the last few years. I am excited to see their continued impact and creative vision as Chopova Lowena embarks on this new chapter of success. Congratulations to all the shortlisted designers who are a true reflection of the outstanding creative talent we have here in the UK."

Chioma Nnadi, Head of Editorial Content, British Vogue said: "I'm so thrilled for this year's winners, Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena of Chopova Lowena. Since launching in 2018, this duo has built a real community around their brand and the cult of their signature carabiner skirts is a testament to what they do. When it comes to a creative vision, they've fearlessly marched to the beat of their own drum, challenging conventional fashion system rules—so I'm very excited to see what they do next.“

Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena, Co-Founders, Chopova Lowena: “We are so honoured to be the recipients of the BFC/Vogue Fund this year. We are joined on the shortlist by fellow designers we greatly admire and sit alongside past winners who inspire us daily. The support of the BFC and Vogue means the world to us and we are eternally grateful for this opportunity to continue to grow and develop our brand on a higher level. London is at the core of what Chopova Lowena is about and we feel very proud to be part of this amazing creative community. We are forever thankful to our amazing team who work so hard every day to make our dreams possible. Thank you so much to the incredible panel of judges, we are so excited for the future!”

This year’s judging panel was chaired by Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council and Chioma Nnadi, Head of Editorial Content, British Vogue. The panel comprised of experts from across the fashion industry: Alva Claire, Model; Harry Lambert, Stylist; Ib Kamara, Editor in Chief, Dazed and Art and Image Director, Off-White; Isabel Waterstone, Vice President, Global Marketing, Burberry; Laura Ingham, Deputy Director, Global Fashion Network, British Vogue; Rod Manley, Chief Marketing Officer, Burberry; Sally Britton, Partner (Intellectual Property, Co-head of Retail), Mishcon de Reya and Susie Lau, Fashion Editor.

Ahluwalia, Clio Peppiatt, KNWLS, NENSI DOJAKA and Stefan Cooke were all shortlisted for the 2024 prize.

With thanks to Mishcon de Reya for their pr­­­­­o-bono legal services, and the BFC Fashion Business Network and one-to-one mentors.


The Fund criteria reflect the values of excellence in design and strong business acumen. The applicants’ collections should consist primarily of womenswear and/or womenswear accessories. All gender collections are also eligible. The application process also encourages brands to think strategically about the three pillars of the Institute of Positive Fashion (Environment, People, and Community & Craftsmanship) and the IPF Minimum Standards. The shortlisted designers were interviewed by the Fund judging panel to determine the winner.

BFC/VDFF is part of the BFC Foundation (Registered Charity Number: 1185152) which brings all 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 and Business Mentoring. The BFC Foundation further enhances 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.

Previous winners of the BFC/VDFF include 16Arlington (2023), Richard Quinn (2022), Bethany Williams (2021), WALES BONNER (2019), Molly Goddard (2018), Mother of Pearl & palmer//harding (2017), Sophia Webster (2016), Mary Katrantzou (2015), Nicholas Kirkwood (2013), Christopher Kane (2011) and Erdem (2010).

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