Established in 2008, the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund aims to celebrate exceptional talent and empower businesses to play their part in positive growth through bespoke mentoring and awarding of a cash prize. The fund is open to all gender collections and/or accessories.
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.
Edward Enninful OBE, Editor-in-Chief British Vogue and Chair of the Fund Committee, said: "The BFC Vogue Designer Fashion Fund continues to be a vital initiative within the UK fashion industry. During this unprecedented time, we need to continue to do our utmost to protect and nurture young talents that bring so much energy and excitement to British fashion. I am looking forward to the inspiration and talent that all the applicants will bring."
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive British Fashion Council, commented: “We are excited to welcome back the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund for 2021. As we continue to look at the future and the opportunity to change, collaborate and innovate, opening up the applications to include menswear and gender-neutral collections felt like the natural thing to do. The Fund offers a huge opportunity for both the shortlisted designers and the winner to gain invaluable knowledge and experience from our expert mentors and incredible monetary investment to develop their brand, at a time when it’s needed more than ever.”
You can find out more information about the updated criteria and a link to the application form here.
Since its inception, winners of The Fund include Erdem (2010), Christopher Kane (2011), Jonathan Saunders (2012), Nicholas Kirkwood (2013), Peter Pilotto (2014), Mary Katrantzou (2015), Sophia Webster (2016), Mother of Pearl & palmer//harding (2017), Molly Goddard (2018) and WALES BONNER (2019).
In 2020 at the onset of the COVID Crisis the decision was taken to pool the BFC talent support grants that would have traditionally been awarded for either early stage showcasing support or business growth and promotion. The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund had already completed the judging process, it was decided that the cash prize and mentoring award would be split across each of the six shortlisted brands for the very first time. The recipients were Alighieri, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, David Koma, Halpern, Metier and Rejina Pyo.