HISTORY OF THE BFC

The British Fashion Council was formed in 1983 out of the Fashion Industry Action Group, an ad hoc group created in 1981 to explore ways of co-ordinating the London fashion exhibition scene.  It showcases British designers and develops London’s position as a major player in the international fashion arena. As a result, London Fashion Week ranks alongside New York, Milan and Paris as one of the 'Big Four’.

1980s

1983

Cyril Kern is made Chairman of the British Fashion Council.

John Wilson is made CEO of the British Fashion Council.

1984

London Fashion Week launches in its current form with a central catwalk venue and a large designer exhibition at Olympia - the British Designer Show in association with the London Designer Collections.

The BFC establishes the first British Fashion Award - the Designer of the Year Award: Katharine Hamnett is the first recipient.

1986

The BFC is registered as a company limited by guarantee with DTI funding matched by industry sponsors.

Sir Edward Rayne CVO is made Chairman of the British Fashion Council.

Beatrix Miller becomes Vice Chair.

1989

Built on the success of the Designer of the Year Award, the BFC launches the British Fashion Awards ceremony, recognising the different categories within designer fashion. Workers for Freedom wins Designer of the Year.

1990s

1990

Sir Ralph Halpern is made Chairman of the British Fashion Council.

1991

The British Fashion Council introduces the BFC Colleges Forum. Chaired by Anne Tyrrell, the initiative links British fashion colleges with the domestic and global industry.

1993

Developed to support fledging fashion design businesses, the BFC New Generation scheme is introduced, offering design labels the opportunity to show at London Fashion Week. Alexander McQueen is among the first designers to benefit.

1994

Clinton Silver CBE is made Chairman of the British Fashion Council.

Annette Worsley-Taylor becomes Creative and Brand Director and consultant on London Fashion Week to the British Fashion Council (until 2006).

1997

John Hoerner is made Chairman of the British Fashion Council.

1998

BFC Princess of Wales Charitable Trust set up to award MA fashion scholarships.

2000s

2000

Nicholas Coleridge is made Chairman of the British Fashion Council.

2004

Sir Stuart Rose is made Chairman of the British Fashion Council.

2005

Hilary Riva is made Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council.

2008

Harold Tillman is made Chairman of the British Fashion Council.

At a Downing Street British Fashion Council reception, hosted by Prime Minister's wife Sarah Brown, BFC Chairman Harold Tillman and Chief Executive Hilary Riva announce initiatives to mark the organisation's 25th year, including the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.

2009

Caroline Rush and Simon Ward are appointed Joint CEOs of the British Fashion Council.

Sarah Mower is appointed the British Fashion Council's first Ambassador for Emerging Talent.

2010s

2010

Samantha Cameron is appointed BFC Ambassador.

BFC management structure is refined to create greater clarity and definition of roles for its joint chief executive officers (CEOs).  Caroline Rush, CEO, leads innovation, marketing and communications and special projects.  Simon Ward moves from joint CEO to take on the newly formed role of chief operating officer (COO) and leads financial and operational controls of the organisation

Hilary Riva steps down to make room for a new non-executive director to work with the team under a new governance structure. Anya Hindmarch MBE joins the BFC as non-executive director.

Launch of Fashion Arts Foundation.

BFC publishes Value of Fashion report & launches it in the House of Commons.

2012

Launch of London Collections: Men, a biannual showcase of British brands and businesses embedded in a cultural programme.

Dylan Jones, Editor British GQ, appointed Chair of London Collections: Men committee.

Launch of the Future of Fashion report, setting objectives for the industry and government to help strengthen the industry.

Launch of Rock Vault, the BFC's fine jewellery initiative.

Launch of Fashion Film, supporting designers wishing to use film as a means of showcasing their collections.

Launch of the International Fashion Showcase in collaboration with the British Council.

Alexa Chung appointed BFC Ambassador.

Launch of Britain Creates, an artistic project which formed part of the Fashion 2012 platform to celebrate the year of London’s hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Launch of the Oxford Street GREAT British fashion flags as part of the London 2012 celebrations.

Launch of the first British Designer's Collective for menswear at Bicester Village.

Hatwalk launched with the Mayor of London, Grazia and BT.

2013

Natalie Massenet MBE is appointed Chairman of the British Fashion Council.

Celebration of London Collections: Men at The British Residence of HM Consul General, New York.

Rock Vault designers showcase at the Couture Show, Las Vegas.

British Fashion Council & The Global Fund host an event at Apsley House to raise awareness of the Global Fund charity in the UK.

Launch of the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund.

Launch of London Style Suites, sponsored by STYLEBOP.com.

Caroline Rush made an Honorary Professor at Glasgow Caledonian University School of Fashion.

2011

Laura Bailey and Poppy Delevingne appointed BFC Ambassadors.

BFC Fashion Trust launched.

Bicester Village and BFC launch British Designer's Collective.

Launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Fashion and Textiles. 

Launch of the China/Britain Fashion Alliance.

Reception held at the British Embassy in Paris to celebrate British fashion.

LONDON show ROOMS launch in Hong Kong.