British Fashion Council announces shortlist for Designer Menswear Fund

The British Fashion Council (BFC) has revealed the designers shortlisted for its BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund.


BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund 2016 ©BFC. All rights reserved.

The prestigious award will see the winner receive a £150,000 grant (about US$217,000) to grow their label, as well as £50,000 value (about US$72,000) in kind services and 12 months of mentoring from industry experts.

Urban label Sibling, which hit the headlines earlier this year with a River Island collaboration, is one of the shortlisted British brands, alongside designer Christopher Raeburn, who is famous for his work repurposing military fabrics. Pioneering female designer Lou Dalton, conceptual designer Craig Green and sportswear-driven creative Astrid Andersen complete the list. The fund is supported by luxury mobile manufacturer Vertu.

Dylan Jones OBE, Editor of British GQ and Chair of London Collections Men, called the shortlist "a great example of the variety and spread of designers that are working here in London," while Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council, said: "As well as sheer creativity these designers also have impressive business strategies and the potential to be Britain's next big menswear brands."

The shortlisted designers will participate in a mentoring program developed by the BFC that will see industry experts provide guidance on topics including branding, leadership, commercial retail, e-tail and wholesale and digital innovation. At the end of the month the designers will submit a revised business plan to the judging panel, which includes Dylan Jones, Caroline Rush, Fourmarketing's Ben Banks, The Financial Times's Charlie Porter, Gordon Watson and Jon Stanley of Vertu, The Guardian's Helen Seamons, Cerruti's Jason Basmajian, Robert Johnston from British GQ and Stephen Doig from Telegraph Luxury.

The Fund is aimed at businesses that have been trading for over two years, with UK and international stockists. The winner will be announced on May 18.
 

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