Sophia Webster wins Vogue/BFC Designer Fashion Fund
Footwear designer Sophia Webster was announced as the recipient of the Vogue/British Fashion Council Designer Fashion Fund at a reception held at the Bulgari Hotel in London this evening (22 March).
Webster fought off competition from Emilia Wickstead, Mother of Pearl, Osman and Prism to land the £200,000 prize and is only the second footwear designer (after her mentor Nicholas Kirkwood) to win the award, which was established in 2008. Previous winners include Mary Katrantzou, Erdem and Christopher Kane.
As well as the cash prize, the fund also provides 12 months of mentoring to help take the designer's business to the next level.
Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman said Webster was "a great winner". "The brand encapsulates all the originality and creativity that British fashion is known for, while Sophia and her team have pursued a clear vision with drive and professionalism," said Shulman to Vogue.co.uk.
Webster has had a big 12 months. Early in 2015 she unveiled a collaboration with Mattel which saw her design a collection of shoes for Barbie, she was awarded trend forecaster WGSN's breakthrough footwear designer award in May 2015 and in the autumn unveiled a new e-commerce site having seen online sales triple to more than £1m.
Her next major step will be the opening of a standalone bricks and mortar store on London's Mount Street, where neighbours include Simone Rocha, Christopher Kane and Roksanda. Webster is understood to have designed the store interior herself and it will open next month.