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 and professional services and awarding of a cash prize. The applicant's collection should consist primarily of menswear and/or menswear accessories and/or all gender collections and not primarily consist of womenswear or childrenswear.
The BFC recognises the value of positive growth, talent and excellence in design. Part of the vision around how to reset the industry includes understanding the breadth of fashion business models, with this in mind the criteria for this fund has been updated to reflect excellence in talent and positive development within businesses.
Dylan Jones OBE, Editor GQ and Chair of the Fund Committee, said: "We are thrilled to announce the launch of the GQ/BFC Menswear Fund 2021. Now more than ever it is essential that we lend our support to the UK's most burgeoning design talents in order to help them succeed in what is an extraordinarily challenging market. This country is celebrated globally for its innovation and creativity in menswear and the fund, which is so generously sponsored this year by Clearpay, enables us to provide significant support to designer businesses. We will be awarding one designer a significant cash prize which will aid them in both developing their business and expanding further onto the international stage. In addition to this we will also be offering a comprehensive mentoring programme which previous recipients of the award - including A-Cold-Wall's Samuel Ross and Craig Green - have benefited from."
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive British Fashion Council, commented: “We are delighted to welcome back the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund for 2021, which for this year is generously supported by Clearpay. The Fund was created in order to help emerging brands grow and move forward financially. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we continue to lend our support to young designer businesses. Since its inception in 2013, we have seen some incredible talent come through and watching the progress of previous winners is always rewarding. The UK is known globally for its creativity and exceptional design talent, and we look forward to receiving this year’s applications and to finding the next global brand!”
2021 BFC/GQ Designer Fashion Fund shortlist are; Ahluwalia, Bethany Williams, Bianca Saunders, Feng Chen Wang, Nicholas Daley and Stefan Cooke.
Ahluwalia is the recipient of the of the 2021 BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund.
Since its inception, winners of the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund include A-COLD-WALL* (2019), Craig Green (2016), E Tautz (2015) and Christopher Shannon (2014).
The BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund is part of the BFC Foundation (Registered Charity Number: 1185152) which brings all of 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 & Business Mentoring and Institute of Positive Fashion.