The British Fashion Council and British Vogue have revealed the candidates for their 2017 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. The winners of this year’s fund will receive a £200,000 grant ($248,785 at current exchange).
The grant will be shared among up to three recipients, which will enable the fund to benefit multiple designers at the growth stage of their brand. Winners will continue to receive a full mentoring program through the BFC’s Business Support team, including access to funders and industry experts.
This year’s shortlisted finalists include Huishan Zhang, Mother of Pearl, Osman, Palmer Harding, Shrimps, Sophie Hulme and Toogood.
Launched in 2009, the fund is sponsored by British Vogue, Burberry, Harrods, Label, Paul Smith and Topshop. Previous winners include Christopher Kane, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto and Sophia Webster.
“We are so fortunate to have an amazing pool of talent in London and this year’s shortlist is no exception,” Caroline Rush, CEO of the BFC, said in a statement. “All the designers have demonstrated incredible talent and strong business skills. I believe they all have the potential to become the UK’s next global brands and the new format of the fund will help them achieve that goal.”
The designers will be interviewed by the fund’s judging committee on Feb. 2 at Breather.com’s Maiden Lane Spaces, London WC2 with the winner being announced in April.
The judges include Gemma Metheringham of Next’s Label, Helen David of Harrods, Ian Lewis of Harrys of London Ltd., Samantha Cameron, the wife of former UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, Joan Burstein, founder of Browns, Lisa Armstrong, fashion director Daily Telegraph Sarah Manley, Mary Homer of Topshop and Susanne Tide-Frater of Farfetch.
“This year’s shortlist is an excellent demonstration of the breadth of fashion talent in this country. Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue and chair of the fund committee. “Any one of them will be a worthy recipient of funding that is specifically designed to help their business in a very targeted way so that it can grow into a greater role on the global fashion stage.”