British Fashion Council Offers Financial Support to 37 British Designers

BFC estimates that £100m of support in different forms will be needed to help protect this decade’s generation of talent over the next 12 to 18 months

British Fashion Council has taken steps today to support British designers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, awarding up to up to £50,000 in financial support to 37 British creative fashion businesses and individuals. This first round of recipients of the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund received grants taken from the £1,000,000 emergency fund allocated to viable businesses depending on their urgency and capability to come through and thrive post-crisis. A portion of funds has also been allocated to students, underpinning the future generation of creative talent.

The BFC is aiming to raise £50 million for the fund this year and the organization is calling on the British government to match every pound the BFC is able to raise. Each time the fund reaches a new £500,000 mark, the money will be distributed to new recipients.

Recipients for the Fund include: Alighieri (VDFF 2020), 16Arlington, Ahluwalia, Aries, Art School, Bethany Williams, Bianca Saunders, Chalayan, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy (VDFF 2020), Chopova Lowena, Craig Green, David Koma (VDFF 2020), E. Tautz, E.L.V. Denim, Edeline Lee, Eftychia, Halpern (VDFF 2020), King & Tuckfield, Kwaidan Editions, Liam Hodges, Matty Bovan, Metier (VDFF 2020), Nabil Nayal, Neous, Nicholas Daley, palmer//harding, Paper London, Paria /Farzaneh, Per Gotesson, Phoebe English, Raeburn, Rejina Pyo (VDFF 2020), Richard Malone, Richard Quinn, Roksanda, Stefan Cooke, and Toogood.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen an astonishing amount of applications come through from British designer businesses all over the country, asking for help to survive the crisis. The need for support is immense. Our hope is to re-open the fund for future rounds, to help as many businesses as possible, and ensure the future growth and success of the British fashion industry.

– Caroline Rush, Chief Executive BFC

The emergency fund was made possible through pooling the BFC talent support grants that would have traditionally been awarded for either early-stage showcasing support or business growth and promotion: BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund supported by JD.COM, BFC Fashion Trust, and BFC NEWGEN. As the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund had already completed the judging process, it was decided that the cash prize and mentoring award would be split across each of the six shortlisted brands for the very first time.

This is the first announcement of recipients to receive funding from the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the COVID Crisis, which has seen over 220 applications to date. Fund recipients will receive a maximum of £50,000 and will also be given access to BFC business support and mentoring from the BFC’s Fashion Business Network including DLA Piper, Eco-Age, Farfetch, FashionEx, Google, HSBC, Instagram, Lewis Silkin, Lloyds, LVMH, Mishcon De Reya, RSM, Sheridans, Taylor Wessing, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Value Retail, and YouTube, plus individual expert one-to-one mentors from across the business value chain. 

All applicants that did not receive funding through this round will be informed on new rounds of funding, government support schemes, and webinars to collectively help these businesses.

The BFC has called on both Government to work with them on industry stimulus, and on the industry and individuals to support the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund through donations. BFC estimates that £100m of support in different forms will be needed to help protect this decade’s generation of talent over the next 12 to 18 months. The fund will re-open for further rounds of applications so that more meaningful support can be given, every time the £500,000 milestone is reached. Donations towards the next round of funding have already been received from Alexander McQueen, Browns, Clearpay, and Coach Foundation.

Additional support for the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund was donated by ARCH & HOOK, BFC Fashion Trust Supporters, British GQ, British Vogue, Browns, Burberry, depop, European Regional Development Fund, HSBC, JD.COM,INC, Label/Mix, Mayor of London, Paul Smith, Revlon Professional, Rodial and Value Retail.

Photo | Roksanda Fall 2020 Show by IMAXtree