BFC announces it has raised £2.3m for its support initiatives as it unveils NEWGEN line-up

Richard Quinn

The British Fashion Council (BFC) revealed that it had raised £2.3m for its charities and business initiatives in 2018 as it unveiled the latest line-up for its NEWGEN designer talent support scheme.

Some £1.1m of the funds raised will be allocated directly to designer businesses and scholars through the council’s various initiatives which develop design excellence and growth by nurturing, supporting and promoting British fashion talent.

The biggest single contributor of funds was Swarovski, which donated £300,000 through its sponsorship of the annual Fashion Awards, which act as a fundraiser for the BFC’s education initiatives.

Highlights from the council’s initiatives for the year include:

  • 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 £127,000 to over £200,000 – 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 £2m 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

The figures were revealed at at event staged to mark the unveiling of this year’s line-up for its flagship talent support scheme NEWGEN, which is supported by luxury boutique Browns. This year’s intake was selected by leading figures in fashion retail, publishing and design.

Ahluwalia Studio, ART SCHOOL, ASAI, Bethany Williams, Bianca Saunders, paria /FARZANEH, Roker and Stefan Cooke all 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.

NEWGEN has launched the careers of some of British fashion design’s best known names, such as Alexander McQueen, Erdem, Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou.

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.”