The British Fashion Council revealed on the final day of London Fashion Week that Chinese retail giant JD.com had renewed its sponsorship of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund into 2019 extending a partnership that began in 2017.
JD.com is China’s largest retailer and its aim with the fund is to expand its global fashion presence and bring more brands to China. The partnership also allows the BFC to help British design talent engage with the Chinese market.
Winners of the prize receive £200,000, a year’s mentoring and access to industry experts and investors. JD.com offers further support to help designers who are shortlisted for the prize to navigate the often tricky Chinese market. The current holder of the prize is designer Molly Goddard.
For instance this year the retailer supported the September 2018 show of British-based Chinese designer Huishan Zhang, shortlisted in 2017 for the Fund, along with the shows of Xuzhi Chen and Xiao Li. Last year it supported 2015 winner Mary Katrantzou helping her reach the Chinese market with the opening of an exclusive online store on JD.com’s dedicated luxury boutique platform TOPLIFE.
“We are delighted that JD.com are extending their support of the British Fashion Council Vogue Designer Fashion fund into 2019. This collaboration takes us into the second year of our valued partnership with JD.com which allows our British designer businesses to engage with over 300 million Chinese consumers, enabling them the vital opportunity of increasing their global footprint in China,” said BFC CEO Caroline Rush.
Xia Ding, President of JD International Fashion commented: “We are delighted to partner with the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund to help support the world’s best up-and-coming designers. We believe strongly in partnering with designers throughout their careers, from helping them get their start in the industry, to entering the Chinese market and building their brands, to protecting their IP. This marks a starting point for what we expect to be a deep, long-term relationship with the British fashion community.”
The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is supported by British Vogue, Burberry, JD.com, LABEL, Paul Smith, RODIAL and Topshop. Previous winners of the Fund include Christopher Kane, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Mother of Pearl, Nicholas Kirkwood, palmer//harding, Peter Pilotto and Sophia Webster.
Applications for the next Fund will open in late 2018, visit the British Fashion Council website for more information.