The British Fashion Council has strengthened its ties with China with a two-year deal with both JD.com and Ruyi who have committed to sponsor and resurrect the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund.
At a lunch hosted by the BFC’s ambassadorial president David Beckham in Shanghai today, a memorandum of understanding was signed by Dylan Jones, BFC Chair of Menswear and Editor of British GQ, Caroline Rush, BFC Chief Executive, Xia Ding, President of JD Fashion at JD.com and Francis Srun, Executive President of Ruyi International Group that confirms funding, mentorship and additional opportunities to develop partnerships for the shortlisted designers into China.
JD.com and Ruyi’s support of the fund means it can be reinstated after it was last won by Craig Green in 2016. Jones said he was “delighted” the fund, which also involves a £150,000 cash prize, could be resurrected to support “our brilliant emerging menswear designers”.
“It is also fantastic to have the support of such a great ambassador in David Beckham who has already become a huge force within the BFC. The last British designer to win the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund was Craig Green, a talent and business that has gone from strength to strength,” Jones added.
Xia Ding, President of JD International Fashion said: “Our joint sponsorship of the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund with Ruyi is a great example of how JD is working with partners both inside and out of China to build new links in the global fashion industry. The UK is now increasingly recognized by Chinese people as a global fashion centre and JD is proud to serve as the most convenient channel for British designers to reach China’s many discerning fashion consumers.”
Francis Srun, Executive President of Ruyi International Group added: “Ruyi is pleased to see our partnership with JD.com blossom into practical action with this move to help British designers expand into the Chinese market. Aside from a range of joint initiatives in offline retail and e-commerce, Ruyi’s extensive collection of global brands are already working closely with JD and we are confident that this network will give a strong boost to designers supported by the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund.”
Beckham said promoting British fashion in China was part of the remit he took on when he was appointed to the position of ambassadorial president in May of this year. “It is great to be able to celebrate this new funding for emerging British menswear talent today. The menswear category is so energised at the moment and I can’t wait to see and meet the talent that will be involved – it’s very exciting,” he said.
The latest deal with JD.com is one of several BFC strategic partnership announcements in Shanghai and is a key pillar of the organisation’s China Partnerships Strategy 2018-2020. JD.com also supports the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund for womenswear, which this year was won by Molly Goddard,