British Fashion Council reformats NEWGEN initiative

Caroline Rush

The British Fashion Council is streamlining its NEWGEN initiative, which offers support to emerging designers. For 2017 it will combine the men’s and women’s designers into one category and make awards on an annual, instead of seasonal, basis.

Designers will continue to receive support for a catwalk show or a presentation at either London Fashion Week or London Fashion Week Men’s each season, as well as a comprehensive mentoring scheme. Each of the NEWGEN designers will be also allocated a dedicated pop-up showroom slot within the Designer Showrooms at the new LFW location of The Store Studios, 180 Strand.

The BFC says the new format will “relieve pressure from current and prospective designer recipients” and allow for the scheme to further tailor the support it offers each recipient. In addition NEWGEN will “reframe business growth” as the initiative’s primary focus.

“Moving forward, in recognition of the changing nature of fashion business models and the varying approaches brands now take to showcasing, the combined NEWGEN format will focus on building a strong foundation of business skills. This will allow us to nurture and support designers as part of a tailored and flexible initiative, which will allow them to build and showcase their brands in close alignment with their creative vision,” said BFC CEO Caroline Rush, CBE.

The NEWGEN calendar will run from June to February, and applications for next year will open later in 2017.

Designers currently receiving NEWGEN support are:

Menswear: Alex Mullins, COTTWEILER, Craig Green, Kiko Kostadinov, Liam Hodges, Phoebe English MAN and Wales Bonner

Womenswear: Ashley Williams, Faustine Steinmetz, Marta Jakubowski, Molly Goddard, Paula Knorr and Sadie Williams