British Fashion Council has announced the first round of recipients of the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund, supporting creative fashion businesses and individuals to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
Financial support will be given to 37 British designer businesses, with grants taken from the £1,000,000 emergency fund, allocated to viable businesses depending on their urgency and capability to come through and thrive post crisis.
A portion of funds has also been allocated to students, underpinning the future generation of creative talent.
Recipients for the Fund are:
Caroline Rush, Chief Executive BFC said: “Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen an astonishing amount of applications come through from British designer businesses all over the country, asking for help to survive the crisis.
“The need for support is immense. Our hope is to re-open the fund for future rounds, to help as many businesses as possible, and ensure the future growth and success of the British fashion industry.”
The emergency Fund was made possible through pooling the BFC talent support grants that would have traditionally been awarded for either early stage showcasing support or business growth and promotion: BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund supported by JD.COM,INC, BFC Fashion Trust and BFC NEWGEN.
As the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund had already completed the judging process, it was decided that the cash prize and mentoring award would be split across each of the six shortlisted brands for the very first time.
This is the first announcement of recipients to receive funding from the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the COVID-19 Crisis, which has seen over 220 applications to date.
Fund recipients will receive a maximum of £50,000 and will also be given access to BFC business support and mentoring from the BFC’s Fashion Business Network including Eco-Age, Farfetch, Google, HSBC, Instagram, Lloyds, Value Retail and YouTube.
All applicants that did not receive funding through this round, will be informed on new rounds of funding, government support schemes and webinars to collectively help businesses in these challenging times.
While one million pounds of funding is a great start, the scale of the need is much greater and BFC has called on both Government to step in to work with them on significant industry stimulus, and on the industry and individuals to support the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund through donations, so that more businesses can be supported at this time.
BFC estimates that £100m of support in different forms will be needed to help protect this decade’s generation of talent over the next 12 to 18 months. The fund will re-open for further rounds of applications so that more meaningful support can be given, every time the £500,000 milestone is reached.
Donations towards the next round of funding have already been received from Alexander McQueen, Browns, Clearpay and Coach Foundation and BFC calls on all that are able to support, to do so at this time.