British Fashion Council and GQ team up for menswear award
The British Fashion Council and GQ have teamed up to launch the ‘BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund’, a menswear award sponsored by luxury phone company Vertu.
Following the success of London Collections: Men, the fund will help support British menswear businesses by awarding a substantial prize fund, as well as providing high level business mentoring and professional business services.
The menswear-only award is a first for the fashion industry, though French and American equivalents – ANDAM and the CFDA/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund – have both awarded prizes to menswear brands in the past.
The BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund is already accepting applications for its first edition. After eight months of deliberation, June 2014 will see the winner awarded £200,000, which corresponds to the amount given to winner of BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund. With a total of £400,000 in funds being allocated each year, Britain is really staking itself out as a hotspot for emerging design talent.
After individual interviews, a jury will announce a shortlist of 8 contenders. The jury will not only be looking at a designer’s aesthetic but also at their 3-year business plan in order to make their final decision.
Those shortlisted will take part in an 8 month mentoring programme that will see them spend time with global fashion brands, meet with media, look at range planning and dissect their three year plan to address global growth.
“We thought it was about time that the menswear industry had its own fund, in order to try and help some of our emerging brands grow and move forward financially. London is not only the home of menswear, but there are now more exciting menswear designers in Britain than ever before,” says Dylan Jones, editor-in-chief of GQ magazine.
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