The British Fashion Council announces Mary Katrantzou as the winner of this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. The Fund was established in 2008 and provides one designer with a bespoke, high level mentoring support programme over a twelve month period, as well as a £200,000 grant to provide necessary infrastructure to take them to the next stage in their business.
Alexandra Shulman, Editor of British Vogue and Chair of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, commented: "Mary Katrantzou is incredibly deserving of this year’s award. It was an extremely diverse shortlist but ultimately we all agreed that Mary has not only created a strong and hugely appealing identity for her work but that she has put in place measures that, along with the support of this prize, should ensure an exciting and successful next stage of her career."
Emilia Wickstead, Holly Fulton, Mary Katrantzou, Michael van der Ham, Mother of Pearl, Osman, Sophia Webster were shortlisted for the 2015 prize and were invited to present their collections and five year business plans to the Fund judging committee which is made up of representatives from businesses who support the Fund and industry experts.
Caroline Rush, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council, commented: “A huge congratulations goes to Mary who has deservedly received this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. As anyone who has met her knows, she is a tireless worker, has an abundance of creativity and has grown from being one of London Fashion Week’s must-see emerging talents, to one of the world’s most talked about designers. It really is a pleasure working with Mary and we are thrilled that we are able to support her business at an exciting time of growth.”
The Fund, now in its sixth year is a legacy project from the BFC’s 25th anniversary celebrations. This year the BFC has created an exclusive online video series, Designer Fashion Fund, which follows the application process, interviews with the judging panel and celebrates the previous winners of the Fund; Peter Pilotto (2014) Nicholas Kirkwood (2013), Jonathan Saunders (2012), Christopher Kane (2011) and Erdem (2010). The episodes will be published over the course of 2015 and can be viewed at youtube.com/BritishFashionTV and Vogue.co.uk
Chaired by Alexandra Shulman, Editor of British Vogue, the Fund Judging Committee comprises representatives from those supporting the Fund, as well as industry professionals including Caroline Rush, (British Fashion Council); Ian Lewis, (No.14 Savile Row); Mary Homer, (Topshop); Joan Burstein, (Browns); Naomi Campbell; Samantha Cameron; Sarah Manley, (Burberry), and Susanne Tide-Frater, (Farfetch/Victoria Beckham).
The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is proudly supported by Burberry, Debenhams, Harrods, Paul Smith, Topshop and Vogue.
The British Fashion Council has an international reputation for supporting emerging talent through its existing schemes; NEWGEN supported by TOPSHOP, NEWGEN MEN sponsored by TOPMAN, BFC Contemporary sponsored by eBay, the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund supported by Vertu, the BFC Fashion Trust and showcasing initiatives Rock Vault, Fashion Film and Headonism.
For press enquiries please contact:
Sophie McElligott, British Fashion Council
+44 (0) 20 7759 1986