Today the British Fashion Council (BFC) is delighted to announce a new partnership between the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund and JD.com Inc., China’s largest retailer with 258.3 million customers.
With China being the world’s second largest consumer and luxury market and an increased interest from Chinese consumers for British designers, the partnership will allow the BFC to help talent engage with the Chinese market. Earlier this year JD.com Inc. launched JD Fashion with the goal of expanding its global fashion presence and bring more brands to China. This partnership will help enable the company to support Britain’s design talent and increase their footprint in China.
JD Fashion will help designers that are part of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund to enter an often difficult to navigate Chinese market. Known for their focus on providing a premium luxury shopping experience for its upwardly mobile customers, JD Fashion has made a significant push in the sector over the last year, bringing in dozens of world-class brands and rapidly growing its share of the Chinese luxury market. JD Fashion has made inroads with ever-more choosy Chinese consumers through its reputation for not tolerating counterfeits, and offering a variety of services to make the online experience every bit as luxurious as shopping offline. Earlier this year, JD.com, Inc. created the world’s first luxury white glove service through which online luxury fashion purchases are hand-delivered in electric vehicles by couriers clad in distinctive suits.
The partnership will be effective from January 2018 and will benefit the 2018 Fund winners. To launch this partnership JD Fashion supported Mary Katrantzou, winner in 2015 and Huishan Zhang shortlisted in 2017, on their London Fashion Week September 2017 shows.
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive British Fashion Council said: “The Chinese market is extremely important to our designers. This partnership with JD Fashion is very exciting as it will enable us to offer to the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund expertise on how to best penetrate the Chinese market. JD.com is a company that is known for protecting its brands against counterfeits, something very important as we need to make sure that the creativity and excellence of our designers is protected.”
Xia Ding, President JD Fashion commented: “We are delighted to partner with the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund to help support the world’s best up-and-coming designers. We believe strongly in partnering with designers throughout their careers, from helping them get their start in the industry, to entering the Chinese market and building their brands, to protecting their IP. This marks a starting point for what we expect to be a deep, long-term relationship with the British fashion community.”
Established in 2008, the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund aims to discover new talent and accelerate the development of the next leading British brand. In 2017 the Fund adjusted its format with a focus on bringing key expertise into designer businesses to assist with development and growth. The £200,000 fund was opened up to be shared between up to three recipients, enabling the fund to benefit multiple designers at a pivotal stage in the growth of their brand’s development. Mother of Pearl and palmer//harding, winners of the 2017 Fund received a full mentoring programme through the BFC’s Business Support team, including access to funders and industry experts.
JD.com Inc. joins existing funders including British Vogue, Burberry, Harrods, LABEL, Paul Smith and Topshop.
Previous winners of the Fund include Christopher Kane, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto and Sophia Webster.
The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is part of the BFC’s business support initiatives aimed at supporting British designers and businesses from school level to emerging talent and future fashion start-ups through to new establishment and global brands.
For more information please visit: britishfashioncouncil.com/designerfashionfund
Applications for the 2018 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund will open late 2017