British Fashion Council Charity appoints co-chairs to help it meet fundraising target of £2m

Narmina Marandi

The British Fashion Council Charity has appointed philanthropists and Investors Tania Fares and Narmina Marandi to help it achieve its fundraising target of £2m to support British creative talent.

The pair have been charged with bringing together an International Advisory Committee to support the work of the charity and the development of its Patronage Programme, aiming to secure 40 “Founder Patrons”.

Some 31 Founder Patrons have already committed their support, including Daphne Guinness, Emma Weymouth, José and Daniela Neves, Maya Jama, Ruth Chapman, Sabrina Elba, and the Cara Delevingne Foundation.

The BFC Foundation supports future growth and success of British fashion through education, grant giving and business support. Since the foundation was established in 2019, it has received £3.2m and is in part funded by The Fashion Awards.

Fares and Marandi are now focused on finding more Founder Patrons and corporate partners to lend their support.

The pair said in a statement: “Now more than ever it is extremely important to be able to support young talent. The past year has been really challenging and as we look ahead to the future, we are delighted to work with the British Fashion Council to bring together a group of benefactors from all around the world who will contribute to the success of British fashion. Our aim is for the Advisory Committee to grow and with it, the support designers and students receive.”

Tania Fares

BFC CEO Caroline Rush added: “I would like to thank Tania, Narmina and the Advisory Committee for accepting our invitation and coming together so quickly to support our fundraising efforts. Creative talent is the lifeblood of our industry and if the past year taught us something is the importance of building sustainable and purpose-led businesses. I look forward to working with the Co-Chairs, Advisory Committee and Founder Patrons to support all the creatives who are not only incredibly innovative but also lead by example with their environmental and social choices.”

The BFC Foundation is solely reliant on the generosity of individuals, foundations, and companies and is funded through charitable donations including those received from BFC Patrons and Partners. This year, the BFC Foundation will activate all four Talent Support Initiatives: BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund, BFC NEWGEN in partnership with TikTok and BFC Fashion Trust. 

Clearpay, London Fashion Week’s Principal Partner, will underwrite funding gaps in the schemes, making the “Buy-Now Pay-Later” company the first ever partner to support all initiatives in addition to London Fashion Week. TikTok joins NEWGEN as Principal Partner, supporting the BFC in creating a bespoke programme of activity for NEWGEN recipients. The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is made possible thanks to the support of British Vogue, Burberry, Clearpay and Paul Smith.

The winner of the 2021 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund will be announced on Friday 7 May. The 2021/22 NEWGEN in partnership with TikTok and BFC Fashion Trust recipients, as well as the shortlist of the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund will be announced on Thursday 27 May.

Narmina Marandi is an investor in, and Chairman of the Board of Directors, of Anya Hindmarch. She is also an investor in, and director of, Emilia Wickstead, the London-based designer who is one of the biggest British fashion success stories of the past 10 years. She also supports many other charitable and cultural causes.

Tania Fares is the co-founder and co-chair of the Fashion Trust, a non-profit initiative dedicated to scouting, funding and mentoring young design talent. Tania first launched this initiative in 2011, when she co-created the UK’s BFC Fashion Trust, alongside the BFC, which she headed for 10 years. She is also a regular contributor to British Vogue and is the co-author of two books “London Uprising: Fifty Fashion Designers, One City,” co-written with Sarah Mower, and “Fashion in LA,” co-written with Krista Smith.