Designer Fashion Fund Shortlist 2012

Backstage at Jonathan Saunders, Spring Summer 2012

The British Fashion Council (BFC) today announced the shortlist for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund 2012. The shortlisted designers showcase the best developing Womenswear and Accessories labels in British fashion today, with potential to develop into global fashion brands. This year’s shortlisted designers are Jonathan Saunders, Marios Schwab, Mary Katrantzou, Meadham Kirchhoff, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto, Richard Nicoll, Roksanda Ilincic and Zoe Jordan.

The nine designers have been invited to present their collections and future plans to the judging panel of Fund sponsor representatives and industry opinion-formers, chaired by Alexandra Shulman, Editor of British Vogue.

The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, now in its third year, will provide one British based designer with a bespoke, high-level mentoring support programme over a twelve-month period, as well as $310,000. All eight runners-up will also be allocated a mentor through the Fund. The entire judging process and winner announcement will be documented in British Vogue’s March 2012 issue.

In order to be eligible for the scheme, designers must have an established business, be based in the UK, as well as having UK and international stockists and support from key media both UK and internationally. The winner will demonstrate a clear vision for their business and how the Fund will contribute to their continuing growth and infrastructure, with a focus on creating a strong international presence.

The Fund was launched by BFC Chairman Harold Tillman CBE, in September 2008 as part of the legacy programme for the BFC’s 25th anniversary celebrations. The aim of the Fund is to support talented British designers with the potential for commercial growth to start making the transition from a developing creative business to an international fashion brand.

The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is proudly supported by: Burberry, Clothing at Tesco, Debenhams, Harrods, HSBC, Jaeger & Aquascutum, LF Europe, Marks & Spencer, Paul Smith, TONI&GUY, TOPSHOP, VOGUE and Westfield Shopping Towns.

Harold Tillman CBE, Chairman of the BFC, commented “The calibre of this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund shortlist reflects the exceptional talent that exists within the British Fashion industry today. Each designer has enhanced the capital’s profile as a centre of fashion innovation, and we are proud to be able to offer the winning designer the financial support and mentoring needed to help their brand grow internationally. Special thanks must be given to all of the funders involved with the scheme.”

Alexandra Shulman, Editor, British Vogue, said “It’s very exciting to see such a talented group making up the shortlist and the winner will certainly be very deserving of the prize. In this third year of the award we also hope to build on the support we can give them all at this stage of their careers.”