Sophia Webster is the winner of this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, announced at a cocktail reception hosted at Bulgari Hotel, London and partnered with Perrier-Jouët. The Fund was established in 2008 and provides one designer with a bespoke, high level mentoring support programme over a twelve month period; as well as a £200,000 grant to provide necessary infrastructure to take them to the next stage in their business.
Alexandra Shulman OBE, Editor of British Vogue and Chair of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, commented: “Sophia Webster is a great winner for this year's award. The brand encapsulates all the originality and creativity that British fashion is known for while Sophia and her team have pursued a clear vision with drive and professionalism.”
Emilia Wickstead, Mother of Pearl, Osman, Prism and Sophia Webster were shortlisted for the 2016 prize and were invited to The Shard to present their collections and five year business plans to the Fund judging committee. The Fund judging committee is made up of representatives from businesses who support the Fund and industry experts.
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council, commented: “Congratulations to Sophia Webster who has deservingly received this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. The judging committee was impressed by her brilliant talent and thorough business acumen; seeing great potential for developing her label into an internationally acclaimed British brand. Sophia has an amazing ability to turn accessories into masterpieces and we are thrilled to support her at an exciting time of growth.”
The Fund, now in its seventh year is a legacy project from the BFC’s 25th anniversary celebrations. For the second consecutive year the BFC has created an exclusive online video series, Designer Fashion Fund, which follows the application process, interviews with the judging panel and celebrates the previous winners of the Fund: Mary Katrantzou (2015), Peter Pilotto (2014) Nicholas Kirkwood (2013), Jonathan Saunders (2012), Christopher Kane (2011) and Erdem (2010). The episodes will be published over the course of 2016 and can be viewed on youtube.com/BritishFashionTV and Vogue.co.uk*
Chaired by Alexandra Shulman OBE, Editor of British Vogue, the committee comprises of experts from across the fashion industry: Caroline Rush CBE, British Fashion Council; Ian Lewis, Harrys of London Limited; Joan Burstein CBE, Browns; Lisa Armstrong, The Daily Telegraph; Mary Homer, Topshop; Samantha Cameron, British Fashion Council Ambassador; Sarah Manley, Burberry; Susanne Tide-Frater, Farfetch/Victoria Beckham; and guest judge Victoria Beckham.
The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is proudly supported by British Vogue, Burberry, Harrods, Paul Smith and Topshop.
The British Fashion Council has an international reputation for supporting emerging talent through its existing schemes: NEWGEN supported by TOPSHOP, NEWGEN MEN sponsored by TOPMAN, the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund supported by Vertu, the BFC Fashion Trust and showcasing initiatives Rock Vault, Fashion Film and Headonism.
For press enquiries please contact:
Emma Kelleher, British Fashion Council, +44 (0) 20 7759 1986