Today the British Fashion Council (BFC) announces the shortlisted designers for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund 2021 (BFCVDFF). Alighieri, ASAI, Bethany Williams, Chopova Lowena, Completedworks, E.L.V. Denim, Halpern, Kwaidan Editions, Olubiyi Thomas, Richard Malone and Supriya Lele.
Established in 2008, the BFCVDFF aims to celebrate exceptional talent and empower businesses to play their part in positive growth through bespoke mentoring and awarding of a £200,000 cash prize. The Fund receives the generous support of British Vogue, Burberry, Clearpay and Paul Smith.
This year’s judging committee is chaired by Edward Enninful OBE, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue and European Editorial Director, Vogue. The committee comprises of experts from across the fashion industry: Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council; Adut Akech, Model; Julia Sarr-Jamois, Fashion Director, British Vogue; Lauren Indvik, Fashion Editor, Financial Times; Natalie Kingham, Global Fashion Officer, Matchesfashion.com; Rod Manley, Chief Marketing Officer, Burberry, Sarah Harris, Deputy Editor & Fashion Features Director, British Vogue and Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent & Chief Critic, Vogue Runway.
Edward Enninful OBE, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue and European Editorial Director, Vogue & Chair of the Fund Committee, said: “The BFC Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is an integral initiative that supports emerging talent in the UK fashion industry. Now more than ever, we must continue to champion young designers who bring so much inspiration and diversity to British fashion. Congratulations to all the shortlisted designers who are a true representation of the high calibre of creative talent in the UK.”
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive British Fashion Council, commented: “Congratulations to all the shortlisted designers. Now more than ever it is essential for our industry to come together and support and nurture new emerging talent. This year’s shortlist demonstrates the incredible breadth of talent we have here in the UK and we are very excited to work with Edward and our new Judging Committee Members and Funders, who are joining Burberry and Paul Smith, who have supported the fund since its inception in 2008.’
For 2021, the Fund criteria were updated to reflect excellence in design and strong business acumen. BFCVDFF is open to all gender collections and/or accessories and applications were strongly encouraged from all over the UK. The application process encouraged brands to think strategically about how they are incorporating the three pillars of the Institute of Positive Fashion: Environment, People and Craftsmanship & Community into their brand. The Fund will award talent/s helping bring new knowledge and the finance to put towards vital areas of designers’ businesses as well as advise all shortlisted designers on areas such as accountancy, merchandising, business strategy, international markets, retail and e-commerce. The shortlisted designers will be interviewed by the Fund Judging Committee this coming March with the winner/s announced in May.
BFCVDFF is part of the BFC Foundation (Registered Charity Number: 1185152) which brings all of the BFC’s charitable initiatives under one umbrella supporting the future growth and success of the British fashion industry by focusing on three areas: Education, Grant-Giving & Business Mentoring and Institute of Positive Fashion. In 2020 at the onset of the COVID Crisis the decision was taken to pool all talent support grants to make available more than one million pounds of emergency funding via the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the Covid Crisis. This formed survival grants for designer fashion businesses to support those who needed it most during this crisis. Since April 2020, 67 designers were supported with over £1.5m allocated through the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the Covid Crisis. For 2020, the BFCVDFF cash prize was split across each of the six shortlisted brands for the very first time. These were Alighieri, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, David Koma, Halpern, Métier and Rejina Pyo.
Previous winners of the BFCVDFF include, WALES BONNER (2019), Molly Goddard (2018), Mother of Pearl & palmer//harding (2017), Sophia Webster (2016), Mary Katrantzou (2015), Peter Pilotto (2014), Nicholas Kirkwood (2013), Jonathan Saunders (2012), Christopher Kane (2011) and Erdem (2010). With thanks to Mishcon de Reya for their pro-bono legal services, and the BFC Fashion Business Network and one-to-one mentors.
Special Thanks to British Fashion Council@LFW.