In Big Fashion News, the British Fashion Council has just announced that its annual programme of talent support is back, having taken a pause last year in the midst of the global pandemic. But there was no rest to be had – BFC raised an incredible £1.7million for its charity, the BFC Foundation, for its various talent support initiatives.
The money will be used to support designers and a number of students through mentoring schemes and financial support grants – providing relief for designers navigating through the hardships of the fashion industry which took a hit last year in the wake of Brexit, cancellations of Fashion Week and the quick pivot to digital presentations. Fashion students – tomorrow’s next big things – also took a hit l once universities closed their doors, and studios, leaving many 20-somethings producing final collections on their bedroom floors.
“The BFC Foundation supports the future growth and success of the British fashion industry by focusing on education, grant-giving and business mentoring, further enhancing the UK’s position as the best place to study, start and develop a fashion business,” the press release notes.
The support initiatives includes: BFC NEWGEN in partnership with TikTok, BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund, BFC Fashion Trust and BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.
Recipients of the BFC NEWGEN include Britain’s most exhilarating designers right now: Ahluwalia, Bianca Saunders, Matty Bovan, Supriya Lele, as well as more recent emergers such as Conner Ives, Nensi Dojaka and Saul Nash. Each designer was selected based on their vision, strong design aesthetic and, importantly, their points of difference. “The BFC delivers individual mentoring and business training sessions to assist the designers as they develop their infrastructure,” BFC writes.
Earlier this month, the BFC announced Bethany Williams as the winner of its BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. Williams has established herself as a leading British designer in sustainability, often producing socially-charged work through her humanitarian efforts. The Fund, established in 2008 and, over the years, awarded to Fashion Week mainstays Christopher Kane, Molly Goddard and Jonathan Saunders, celebrates big-time talent, while empowering designers to reach the next level with a £200,000 award.
“Now more than ever, it is important to champion talent and to support our emerging and young businesses that lead the way in environment and community impact while increasing the diversity of the talent pool,” says Caroline Rush, BFC’s Chief Executive.
She continues: “The UK has a reputation of having some of the most innovative and creative talent and through the BFC Foundation, our aim is to improve equality, equity, and opportunity so that the fashion industry remains open to all.”
On that note, and on behalf of THE FACE, congrats to all.