NEWGEN is a BFC initiative that supports the best emerging fashion design talent and aims to build global, high-end brands of the future. It is the most established designer development scheme globally and recipients are identified by their creativity, strong aesthetic and innovative approach to design.
NEWGEN offers designers financial support, showcasing opportunities, and mentoring to develop critical skills to future proof their businesses. The BFC, with support from the NEWGEN committee led by Sarah Mower MBE, delivers individual mentoring and business training sessions to assist the recipients as they develop their business infrastructure.
NEWGEN encompasses Ready-to-Wear and Accessories including all categories such as shoes, bags, hats, and jewellery, with different product categories being judged by specific panels. Sarah Mower MBE leads the RTW panels and Stephen Jones OBE and Stephen Webster MBE lead the Accessories panel.
Each year, recipients are identified by their creativity, strong design aesthetic, and point of difference. The 2023/24 BFC NEWGEN recipients are:
AARON ESH I ANCUTA SARCA I Chet Lo I Conner Ives I DERRICK I DI PETSA I EFTYCHIA I FEBEN I HARRI I HELEN KIRKUM I Kazna Asker I LABRUM London I Leo Carlton I MASHA POPOVA I Paolo Carzana I ROBYN LYNCH I S.S. DALEY I SAUL NASH I Sinéad O'Dwyer I The Winter House I TOLU COKER I yuhan wang
Applications are now closed.
IPF STANDARDS 2023
The Institute of Positive Fashion (IPF) has developed a set of Minimum and Bronze Standards for NEWGEN designer participants and its programme of events.
Each of the Minimum and Bronze standards are mapped against the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ranging from ending poverty and deprivation to improving health and education, reducing gender inequalities, developing responsible production and consumption, implementing climate action, and saving our oceans and forests. These 17 SDGs are a united call for action by nations across the globe.
The Standards apply to seven focus areas of a garment’s life cycle: #1 strategic direction, #2 raw material sourcing, #3 design, #4 manufacturing and distribution, #5 retail, consumer engagement and post-consumer, #6 working conditions and #7 fashion shows.
When applying for NEWGEN, participants must meet all of the Minimum standards.
We are grateful to Copenhagen Fashion Week Sustainability Action Plan 2020-2022 for taking the lead in devising these sustainable requirements which have helped to shape our Standards.
NEWGEN designers are awarded a financial bursary to partially support the showcasing of their new collections. The bursary is split in half for each year and allocated per season. In order for recipients to receive the full bursary, they must show during two LFW seasons per year. Recipients will receive a slot on the London Fashion Week schedule (digital or physical catwalk/presentation). The type of slot awarded is subject to the NEWGEN panel’s decision following the interview process. Showcasing support for NEWGEN participants includes waived listing fees, show production and team, basic lighting, seating, sound, security, and a space in our venue subject to availability. You will also be assigned a member of the BFC Designer Relations Team who will be your point of contact for all showcasing related matters.
As part of the NEWGEN award, designers are assigned a member of the BFC Designer Initiatives & Membership Team who is their day-to-day contact for business support and who will liaise with the designer and facilitate introductions to mentors and industry experts based on a business diagnostic meeting that will be offered to all recipients. These mentoring opportunities include topics ranging from finance and business structure, to merchandising, ecommerce, and all other areas of building and running a fashion business. In addition to this mentoring, every NEWGEN designer has access to a designated amount of pro-bono legal counsel, delivered by law firm DLA Piper.
NEWGEN designers have free, full access to BFC Membership events; exclusive webinars, seminars and workshops covering areas across the fashion value chain, plus industry current affairs. NEWGEN designers are also provided full complimentary access to the BFC Member Portal, containing news, event summaries, resources, relevant partner opportunities and services, and business information via Designer Fact File.*
*Brands must still meet BFC Membership criteria to access the portal, details can be found here.
With thanks to DLA Piper for their pro-bono legal services, and the BFC Fashion Business Network and one-to-one mentors.
The winning recipients of the BFC NEWGEN receive a grant through the BFC Foundation (Registered Charity Number: 1185152). The foundation, established in 2020, brought all of the BFC’s charitable initiatives under one umbrella and supports 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. Each recipient signs a grant agreement with the BFC Foundation which includes a Code of Conduct, and requirements to ensure that applicants provide key information for future impact reporting.