Established in 2008, the Fund aims to discover new talent and accelerate growth over a twelve-month period through mentoring and awarding a cash prize of £200,000. The Fund has several generous supporters and is delighted to receive the generous support of China’s largest e-tailer, JD.com, for the first time in 2018. This year’s applications were encouraged from all over the UK, with many not shortlisted put on the radar of the high-profile industry judging committee for the first time.
David Koma, Huishan Zhang, Le Kilt, Marques’ Almeida, Molly Goddard and Rejina Pyo were shortlisted for the 2018 prize and were invited to present their collections and business plan to the panel. Chaired by Edward Enninful OBE, Editor of British Vogue, the judging committee is made up of representatives from businesses who support the Fund and industry experts: Caroline Rush CBE, British Fashion Council; Erdem Moralioglu, ERDEM; Gemma Metheringham, LABEL; Helen David, Harrods; Jourdan Dunn, model; Maria Hatzistefanis, Rodial; Sarah Manley, Burberry; Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent & Vogue Runway; Paul Price, Topshop and Xia Ding, JD.com.
All shortlisted designers received a full mentoring programme through the BFC’s Business Support team, with access to funders and industry experts including a roundtable hosted by Sir Paul Smith and a mentoring session from Rodial’s Maria Hatzistefanis. Additionally, JD.com hosted the shortlisted designers in Shanghai and organised a catwalk show for them to showcase their collections to a local audience of media, retailers and industry influencers. Furthermore, award-winning law firm Mishcon de Reya is providing pro-bono legal advice to the finalists and winner.
Molly Goddard is the recipient of the of the 2018 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.