May 27, 2021
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BFC unveils talent support recipients

May 27, 2021

The British Fashion Council (BFC) on Thursday announced its annual programme of talent support and impact and said that in 2020/21, it has raised £1.7 million for its charity, the BFC Foundation, and its talent support initiatives. 

Bianca Saunders, who recently launched a capsule for Browns Focus, is a Newgen recipient and on the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund shortlist - Browns Focus

The announcement was a big deal given that the BFC paused its talent support initiative last year to focus on its Covid fund.

So now it’s back, supporting designers and a number of students through mentoring and financial support grants, with a big boost from Clearpay, London Fashion Week’s principal partner, which has underwritten funding gaps in the schemes.

This year’s support initiatives include Newgen, which is actually the most established designer development scheme globally. Recipients this time are Ahluwalia, Art School, Asai, Bianca Saunders, Conner Ives, Eftychia, Feben, Helen Kirkum, Labrum London, Matty Bovan, Nensi Dojaka, Paolo Carzana, Per Götesson, Richard Quinn, Robyn Lynch, Roker, SS Daley, Saul Nash, Stefan Cooke, Supriya Lele and Yuhan Wang.

The sponsorship for the womenswear, menswear and accessories designers includes financial support, showcasing opportunities and mentoring to develop critical business skills to future-proof their businesses. The BFC delivers individual mentoring and business training sessions to assist the designers as they develop their infrastructure, with pro-bono legal services too.

Meanwhile, the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund aims to “celebrate exceptional talent and empower businesses to play their part in positive growth through bespoke high-level business mentoring, pro-bono legal services, professional services and awarding a cash prize”.

The shortlisted designers for this are Ahluwalia, Bethany Williams, Bianca Saunders, Feng Chen Wang, Nicholas Daley, and Stefan Cooke. The winner will be announced next month.

And the BFC/Vogue Designer fashion Fund recipient for this year, which was announced a few weeks ago, is Bethany Williams. 

The BFC’s chief executive Caroline Rush, said: “Now, more than ever, it is important to champion talent and to support our emerging and young businesses that lead the way in environmental and community impact while increasing the diversity of the talent pool. The UK has a reputation of having some of the most innovative and creative talent and through the BFC Foundation, our aim is to improve equality, equity, and opportunity so that the fashion industry remains open to all. Congratulations to all the designers and a big thank you to all the funders, judges and mentors for making the UK’s talent support network one of the most robust in the global market.”

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