British Fashion Council Celebrates Support for Fashion Designer Talent in the UK

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The British Fashion Council (BFC) is delighted to announce that in 2018, it raised over £2.3million for its charities and business support initiatives out of which £1.1million will be allocated directly to scholars and designer businesses. The BFC is committed to developing design excellence and growth by nurturing, supporting and promoting British fashion talent on the global stage in an industry worth £32.2 billion to the UK GDP.

As an organisation, education underpins the BFC’s work on promoting excellence in British fashion. It supports the industry’s future talent pipeline, from school level to emerging talent, future fashion start-ups and new establishment and global brands, through a range of charitable initiatives. This morning the BFC hosted an event at The Royal Academy to celebrate the 2019 designers who receive mentoring, support and financial contributions throughout the year as well as the ones who are awarded prizes through its various initiatives: BFC Education Foundation, NEWGEN, BFC Fashion Trust, BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund supported by, Inc. and BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.

2018/19 Facts & Figures

  • 31 designer businesses supported in 2018/19 through BFC initiatives (NEWGEN, BFC Fashion Trust and BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund) and 21 scholars through scholarships
  • Number of scholarships awarded by the BFC Education Foundation increased from 11 to 21, taking the BFC’s financial commitment to students from £127K to over £200K – more than a 60% year on year increase
  • 204 teenagers supported through Saturday Clubs at 11 clubs across the UK this year 
    Fashion Studio Assistant Apprenticeship launched at London Fashion Week February 2019 – this is the 400th new government apprenticeship
  • £300,000, the largest single donation to the BFC Education Foundation was made by Swarovski at The Fashion Awards 2018
  • 538 students supported at universities: 270 event attendees; 181 competition entrants; 21 scholars
  • Since its inception NEWGEN has launched the careers of 249 designers
  • Since its inception the BFC Fashion Trust has awarded over £2 million to 42 designer businesses
  • The BFC Fashion Trust awarded grants totalling £380,000 between eight designers in 2018
  • £200,000 cash-prize received by Molly Goddard, winner of the 2018 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund
  • More than 660 pro-bono hours donated by the BFC Fashion Business Network to designers
  • 15 external partners from the BFC Fashion Business Network provided bespoke mentoring and consultancy
  • 18 workshops and clinics hosted by industry professionals


Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive British Fashion Council commented: “The UK has a reputation of having some of the best fashion schools in the world as well as the most innovative and creative talent. We are delighted to be able to support many of them from school-level all the way through to established designer businesses through all our initiatives; this further reinforces our reputation as an international hub for creativity, innovation, talent and business. Congratulations to all the designers and thank you to all the Funders, mentors and supporters for making the UK’s talent support the most robust in the global market.”


​Education is a key pillar of the BFC strategy and is led by Pillar Presidents Sarah Mower and Meribeth Parker, with the aim of attracting the best talent to the industry by giving students a clear understanding of how to study and train for a plethora of industry roles. The BFC Education Foundation raises funds to support students with the ability and potential to make an exceptional contribution to the fashion industry.

In the last year alone, the BFC increased the number of scholarships awarded by the Education Foundation from 11 to 21, increasing its financial commitment to students from £127,215 to more than £200K.

The BFC’s education initiatives support young people looking to gain fashion industry knowledge and insight through National Fashion & Business Saturday Clubs which provide opportunities for teenagers aged 14-16 to study in the creative industries. In 2018, the number of Fashion & Business Saturday Clubs run by the BFC increased from 7 to 11, allowing more than 200 teenagers to get a glimpse of the fashion industry. Industry experts from brands including Apple, ASOS, Nike, The Royal Opera House and WGSN imparted their knowledge to teenagers with an interest in art, design and fashion through free college and university-hosted masterclasses.

At London Fashion Week February 2019, the BFC launched the Fashion Studio Assistant apprenticeship, which opens new pathways to the luxury fashion sector and gives insight on how to run a successful fashion business. This was the 400th new government apprenticeship.

All this support not only benefits young talent but also strengthens the BFC’s aim to make Britain the best place to start, develop and grow creative, innovative businesses. The BFC also works on the fashion industry’s skills agenda with UKFT to promote skills development in the fashion sector.



NEWGEN is a BFC initiative that supports the very best emerging talent and aims to build global, high end fashion brands of the future. It is the most established designer development scheme globally.

NEWGEN offers designers financial support, showcasing opportunities and the time and support to hone in on critical business skills to futureproof their businesses. The BFC, with support from the NEWGEN committee led by Sarah Mower MBE, delivers individual mentoring and business training sessions to assist the designers as they develop their business infrastructure and skills. NEWGEN designers are identified by their creativity, strong design aesthetic and point of difference.



A-COLD-WALL* | Ahluwalia Studio | Alighieri | ART SCHOOL | ASAI | Bethany Williams | 
Bianca Saunders | Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY I Halpern | ISOSCELES Lingerie | Matty Bovan | 
Nicholas Daley | paria /FARZANEH | Per Götesson | Richard Malone | Richard Quinn | Roker 
| Stefan Cooke | Supriya Lele 



NEWGEN sponsorship is awarded annually to womenswear, menswear and accessories designers who will show at either London Fashion Week or London Fashion Week Men’s.

Ahluwalia Studio, ART SCHOOL, ASAI, Bethany Williams, Bianca Saunders, paria /FARZANEH, Roker and Stefan Cooke will receive NEWGEN support for the first time this year, in addition to existing NEWGEN designers A-COLD-WALL*, Alighieri, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, Halpern, ISOSCELES Lingerie, Matty Bovan,  Nicholas Daley, Per Götesson, Richard Malone, Richard Quinn and Supriya Lele who all continue to receive support. ‘NEWGEN ONE TO WATCH’ support has been awarded to Eftychia, who will be given exhibition space in the LFW Designer Showrooms this September.

Each of the NEWGEN designers will be allocated a dedicated pop-up showroom space within either LFW or LFWM taking residence after their show or presentation to host press and buyers’ appointments.

Since its inception in 1993, NEWGEN has acted as a promotional launch pad for young designers including Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Christopher Raeburn, Craig Green, Erdem, Jonathan Anderson, Marques’Almeida, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto, Roksanda Ilinčić and Simone Rocha.

The NEWGEN committee comprises of Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent and Chief Critic Vogue Runway  (Chair); Anna Orsini, British Fashion Council; Annika Lievesley, Stephen Jones Millinery; Ben Cobb, AnOther Man;  Carol Woolton, British Vogue; Catherine Hayward, Esquire; Claire Denham-Smith, Stephen Webster; Damien Paul, Matches Fashion; Elgar Johnson, GQ Style; Holly Tenser, Browns;  Ib Kamara, i-D; Ida Petersson, Browns; Kenya Hunt, ELLE; Laura Larbalestier, Boutique1; Lee Goldup, Browns; Linli Teh, Liberty London; Lulu Kennedy MBE, Fashion East; Natalie Kingham; Matches; Olivia Singer, British Vogue; Orsola de Castro, Fashion Revolution; Stavros Karelis, Machine-A; Stephen Jones OBE, Stephen Jones Millinery,  Susanne Tide-Frater, Farfetch and previous NEWGEN recipients: Christopher Kane and CRAIG GREEN;

Browns is an official partner of NEWGEN; DLA Piper support NEWGEN through pro-bono legal services. With thanks to RSM, The Trampery Fish Island Village, Farfetch, Eco-Age, Google, Launchmetrics and the rest of our Fashion Business Network.



The BFC Fashion Trust is a British Fashion Council charity that offers financial awards and business mentoring to UK based fashion designers. Since its inception in 2011 the BFC Fashion Trust has awarded over £2 million to 42 designer businesses to help with critical business support such as developing websites, ecommerce platforms and bricks & mortar stores.

The charity’s fundraising and the philanthropic programme are led by co-chairs Tania Fares and Sian Westerman. In 2018, the BFC Fashion Trust awarded grants totalling £380,000 between eight designers.

Today we are delighted to announce the shortlisted designers for the 2019 BFC Fashion Trust grants. The final recipients will be announced on Monday 20th May.



Aries | EUDON CHOI | Hillier Bartley | Huishan Zhang | Marta Jakubowski | Molly Goddard | Mother of Pearl | NABIL NAYAL| Paper London | Paula Knorr | ROBERTS WOOD | Sharon Wauchob | WALES BONNER


In addition to the grants, the BFC Fashion Trust supports a graduate traineeship programme which offers graduates 12-month paid placements with a British based designer. The programme has the dual benefit of allowing graduates to gain insight and experience and for the designer’s business to benefit from additional support. Previously partnered brands include E.Tautz, Erdem, House of Holland, JW Anderson, Mary Katrantzou and Roksanda.

The BFC Fashion Trust’s Official Partner is HSBC. Revlon Professional is the 2019 Campaign Partner. Taylor Wessing support the Fashion Trust through pro bono legal service. With thanks to Farfetch, Eco-Age, Google, Bicester Village Shopping Collection, Launchmetrics and the rest of our Fashion Business Network.



Established in 2014, the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund supported by, Inc. aims to discover new talent and accelerate growth through a £150,000 cash prize and a twelve-month period mentoring programme. The BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund receives the generous support of, Inc. 

Today the BFC is delighted to reveal the shortlisted designers for the BFC/GQ DESIGNER MENSWEAR FUND supported by JD.COM, INC. The winner will be announced at the end of London Fashion Week Men’s June 2019.



A-COLD-WALL* | COTTWEILER | Edward Crutchley | Liam Hodges


Dylan Jones OBE, BFC Menswear Chair and Editor of British GQ commented: “The BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund supported by, Inc. is vital to supporting creative and design talent from across the UK; and this year is more important than ever. Our 2019 shortlist represents the most innovative designers who are ready to expand their business globally, showcasing what the UK has to offer.”

The shortlisted designers for the 2019 prize will receive mentoring sessions from the judging committee ahead of the final judging day where they will be invited to present their collection and business plan.

Chaired by Dylan Jones OBE, BFC Menswear Chair and Editor of British GQ, the judging committee is made up of leading industry experts: Alison Lomax, Google; Andrew Maag, Dunhill; Ben Banks, Four Marketing; Bosse Myhr, Selfridges; Caroline Rush CBE, British Fashion Council; James Hebbert, Hylink, Kevin Jiang,, Inc. Kim Jones, Dior Homme; Stephen Doig, The Telegraph and Teo Van den Broeke, British GQ.

Previous winners of the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund include Christopher Shannon, Craig Green and E.Tautz.

Sheridans support the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund through pro-bono legal services.



Established in 2008, the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion 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 winner of the 2019 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund will be announced on Wednesday 1st May 2019.

The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund receives the generous support of British Vogue, Burberry,, Inc., Label/Mix, Paul Smith, Rodial and TOPSHOP.

This year’s judging committee was chaired by Edward Enninful OBE, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue. The committee comprises of experts from across the fashion industry: Caroline Rush CBE, British Fashion Council; Erdem Moralioglu, ERDEM; Gemma Metheringham, Label/Mix; Harlan Bratcher,, Inc.  Jo Ellison, Financial Times; Maria Hatzistefanis, Rodial; Rod Manley, Burberry; Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent & Vogue Runway; Paul Price, Topshop and Xia Ding,, Inc.



A.W.A.K.E. MODE | Alighieri | Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY | DAVID KOMA | NEOUS | 


Mishcon de Reya support the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund shortlisted designers and winner through pro-bono legal services. With thanks to Farfetch, Google, Launchmetrics and the rest of our Fashion Business Network.


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