The British Fashion Council opens applications for the 2012 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. The Award, now in its 3rd year, consists of Â£200,000 and access to director-level mentors across the industry.
The winner and seven other shortlisted designers will be featured in the March issue of Vogue, and will gain access to a panel of business-development and industry mentors to support their business, brand and collection development over a 12-month period.
Designers eligible for the scheme must have an established business and be based in the UK, with both domestic and international stockists and support from key media in the UK and internationally.
The Fund was launched by BFC Chairman Harold Tillman CBE in September 2008 at a Downing Street reception. Vogue, partner of the Fund, whose March issue is on sale in early February, not only features the designers shortlisted, but also supports the mentoring programme through editor meetings and, for the first time in 2011, a symposium, which will address collective business issues. The inaugural winner of the award for 2010 was Erdem and the 2011 winner was Christopher Kane.
Eligible designers are invited to submit applications no later than 14th November, 2011. The judging committee, chaired by Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman, is made up of patrons and industry experts, who will then shortlist applicants to be invited for interview. Marigay McKee, Fashion and Beauty Director at Harrods, chairs the mentoring panel. The winner will be announced in February 2012.
The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is supported by Aquascutum, Burberry, Clothing at Tesco, Debenhams, Harrods, House of Fraser, HSBC, Jaeger, LF Europe, Marks & Spencer, Paul Smith, TONI & GUY, TOPSHOP, Vogue and Westfield Shopping Towns.
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; and Fashion Forward, sponsored by Coutts & Co and supported by the Mayor of London.
The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund aims to support business growth and create employment opportunities. It is more than complementary to the BFC designer support schemes - it provides an essential new platform to focus on developing profile and growth for British designer businesses.