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BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund 2021 opens for applications

Tom Bottomley
05 November 2020

The British Fashion Council (BFC) has announced today that applications are open for the latest BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, now open to all gender collections and accessories, and will close on 6 January, 2021.

Established in 2008, the award aims to “celebrate exceptional talent and empower businesses” to grow through bespoke mentoring and awarding of a cash prize.

It helps to bring fresh knowledge and the finance to put towards vital areas of designer businesses, as well as advising all shortlisted designers on areas such as accountancy, merchandising, business strategy, international markets, retail and e-commerce.

Edward Enninful, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue and Chair of the Fund Committee, said:"The BFC Vogue Designer Fashion Fund continues to be a vital initiative within the UK fashion industry.

“During this unprecedented time, we need to continue to do our utmost to protect and nurture young talents that bring so much energy and excitement to British fashion. I am looking forward to the inspiration and talent that all the applicants will bring."

Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council, commented: “We are excited to welcome back the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund for 2021. As we continue to look at the future and the opportunity to change, collaborate and innovate, opening up the applications to include menswear and gender-neutral collections felt like the natural thing to do.

“The fund offers a huge opportunity for both the shortlisted designers and the winner to gain invaluable knowledge and experience from our expert mentors, and incredible monetary investment to develop their brand, at a time when it’s needed more than ever.”

The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund receives the support of British Vogue, Burberry and Paul Smith. Applications are strongly encouraged from all over the UK.

The application process also encourages 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.

All shortlisted designers will receive a full mentoring programme through the BFC’s business support team, with access to funders and industry experts.

To apply, applicants need to be over three years in business and based in the UK, and applicants should have both UK and international stockists and should be able to demonstrate support from media.

Applicants should also be able to demonstrate to the judging panel a clear vision on how the fund will contribute to the development of their business.

For 2020, the decision was made to merge all initiatives into the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the Covid Crisis. The cash prize, and accompanying mentorship programme, 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 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund include, Wales Bonner (2019), Molly Goddard (2018), Mother of Pearl and palmer//harding (2017), Sophia Webster (2016), Mary Katrantzou (2015), Peter Pilotto (2014), Nicholas Kirkwood (2013), Jonathan Saunders (2012), Christopher Kane (2011) and Erdem (2010).

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