The British Fashion Council has announced TikTok, the social media application for short-form videos, as principal partner of its talent identification scheme, NEWGEN.
NEWGEN is the BFC’s most recognised talent identification scheme that supports excellence in design and aims to build global, high-end fashion brands of the future.
The BFC and TikTok will work together to create a bespoke programme of activity for all NEWGEN recipients, including streaming support of designer shows, mentoring, masterclasses and digital support for the recipients.
TikTok will host a NEWGEN venue during London Fashion Week in September 2021, with designer shows, content creation and hospitality opportunities. The partnership will also enable more innovative fashion content to be created and shared socially across entire TikTok app.
Rich Waterworth, General Manager TikTok commented: "Creativity is at the heart of TikTok, it is a community where originality and individuality can flourish. In 2020 we saw creators from across the globe spark a knitting revival, through their love of NEWGEN alumni, JW Anderson's, now iconic cardigan; through this partnership with the BFC we hope to see even more moments of joy like this and inspire a whole new generation of British fashion talent.”
Buy Now, Pay Later service Clearpay will also support BFC NEWGEN as an official partner.
The initiative offers designers financial grants, showcasing opportunities and, with support from the BFC Business Development Team and NEWGEN committee led by Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent, delivers individual mentoring and business training sessions to assist the designers.
Since its inception in 1993, NEWGEN has supported 250 designers and acted as a promotional launch pad for talent including Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Christopher Raeburn, Jonathan Anderson, Molly Goddard, Nicholas Kirkwood and Simone Rocha.
Applications for NEWGEN 2021-2022 are open now, with further details on eligibility criteria available on the British Fashion Council website.
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council said: “Supporting excellence is at the core of the British Fashion Council’s strategy. The past year was extremely challenging, and much of our support went towards businesses that needed the funds to overcome the pandemic.
"As we look towards the future, we are delighted to bring back NEWGEN for 2021/22 with the support of a new Principal Partner. The BFC always understood the changing nature of fashion and led the way in technology and innovation. This is why we are extremely proud to be the first international Fashion Council to partner with TikTok to support emerging talent and we look forward to working with the team to showcase the best of what British fashion has to offer.”
Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent added: “NEWGEN has been here to back up extraordinary young talent, from Alexander McQueen onwards. It started in a dark economic time, and it’s here to continue exactly that now.
"It’s more important than ever that the fashion community does its utmost to nurture and protect innovative start-ups in our inclusive British scene. We’re looking forward to seeing the energy and innovation that each and every applicant will bring.”