Committed to supporting excellence in British fashion.
THE BRITISH FASHION COUNCIL'S MISSION
The British Fashion Council looks to lead the industry through creative influence and is strategically repositioning British fashion in the global fashion economy. The BFC has five strategic pillars; business, reputation, education, digital and investment.
Business: The British Fashion Council, with the aide of its partners and patrons, looks to support British fashion designers throughout their careers.
Reputation: Charged with promoting the British fashion industry internationally, the British Fashion Council stages a series of key trade events throughout the year.
Education: By working alongside Britain's fashion colleges and universities the British Fashion Council looks to attract young people into the industry.
Digital: The British Fashion Council looks to promote learning and innovation in the fast changing digital space of 'Fashtech' to the benefit of all involved in the British fashion industry.
Investment: The British Fashion Council aims to contribute to developing a fashion eco-system to support growth and entrepreneurship in the long-term through investment.
In 1993 the British Fashion Council created NEWGEN, its initiative to support emerging and start-up fashion brands. NEWGEN has grown to become one of the world’s most internationally recognised talent identification schemes.
Globally recognised as a prestigious showcase of the best up-and-coming British fashion talent, recipients are selected by a panel of media and buying experts chaired by Sarah Mower MBE, the British Fashion Council's Ambassador for Emerging Talent.
NEWGEN offers catwalk designers financial support towards their show costs and the opportunity to use the British Fashion Council's Catwalk Show Space, Presentation Space or exhibition offering designers the chance to meet influential press and buyers from around the world.
Since NEWGEN’s inception, its roll call of designers has included Alexander McQueen, Antonio Berardi, Boudicca, Julien Macdonald, Lara Bohinc, Matthew Williamson and more recently Christopher Kane, Erdem, Marios Schwab, Mary Katrantzou, Marques’Almeida and Simone Rocha.
￼PAST NEWGEN RECIPIENTS: 1993-2016
Agi & Sam
Ann Sofie Back
Artifice and Guile
Avsh alom Gur
Basso & Brooke
Bi La Li
Chau Har Lee
Code Two Ltd
Customers Own Property
Dr Noki’s - NHS
Elvis Jesus & Co Couture
Emilio de la Morena
Emily Jo Gibbs
Grab & Mac Grade
House of Holland
House of Jazz
Husam El Odeh
J. JS Lee
Jeremy & Biba
Jojo & Malou
Julian And Sophie
La Petite Salope
Lara Boeing 747
Lo & Cabon
Louis de Gama
Maarten van der Horst
Maria Francesca Pepe
Michael van der Ham
New Power Studio
Poltock & Walsh
Poltock & Walsh
Sam de Teran
Sister by Sibling
The New Renaissance
Tim Soar Women
William Richard Green
Sarah Mower, the British Fashion Council's Ambassador for Emerging Talent, talks about the importance of young talent to the standing of London in global fashion and how the NEWGEN scheme supports this talent.
In August 2009, the British Fashion Council launched NEWGEN MEN offering emerging menswear designers in the UK the same opportunities as womenswear designers to showcase their collections and receive business mentoring and support.
With NEWGEN MEN the BFC is able to promote the breadth of British menswear talent internationally. Designers are selected by a menswear committee of leading editors and buyers.
NEWGEN MEN has supported designers including Agi & Sam, Alex Mullins, Astrid Andersen, Christopher Shannon, Common, Craig Green, Diego Vanassibara, James Long, J.W. Anderson, Kit Neale, Lee Roach, Matthew Miller, Nasir Mazhar and Sibling.
BUSINESS SUPPORT FOR MORE ESTABLISHED DESIGNERS
BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund
The British Fashion Council launched the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund in 2013 to extend further support for developing British menswear businesses.
The BFC/GQ Fund provides one designer with a bespoke, high-level mentoring support programme over a twelve-month period, as well as a £150,000 grant to provide necessary infrastructure to take them to the next stage of their business.
BFC Fashion Trust
The Fashion Trust was founded in February 2011 by the British Fashion Council and offers selected designers business support through mentoring and financial awards to promote the art and business of fashion.
Since its inception, the Fashion Trust has awarded grants and mentoring support to designers including Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Marios Schwab, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Osman, Peter Pilotto, Richard Nicoll, Roksanda Ilincic and Todd Lynn. The grants have provided invaluable support to growing each business.
BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund
The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund (The Fund) charity offers a significant financial award that enables a designer to considerably increase their profile as a creative British business.
The Fund helps to develop the infrastructure of the designer’s business to generate employment and with the assistance of high level mentoring, make the transition from a developing creative business to a global fashion brand.
Headonism is a British Fashion Council initiative curated by Stephen Jones, celebrating the new wave of emerging British milliners. It showcases emerging British milliners within an installation at London Fashion Week
The initiative was launched during the BFC’s 25 year celebrations by Mayor of London Boris Johnson. All designers receive mentoring and business support from Stephen Jones OBE and knowledge sharing from Piers Atkinson and Noel Stewart.
Rock Vault is a jewellery initiative to support, showcase and promote Britain’s most innovative, fine jewellery talent. Curated by Stephen Webster, this unique showcasing initiative has been developed by the BFC to nurture the creative fine jewellery talent based in London. It gives these designers the opportunity to further develop their businesses, as well as exposure amongst both UK and international media and retailers.
Selected designers receive business support mentoring and are awarded a space within the dedicated Rock Vault area at the Designer Showrooms during London Fashion Week.
LONDON SHOW ROOMS
LONDON show ROOMS provides a unique opportunity for British designers to be collectively promoted in international markets. These pop-up showrooms are a strategic element of the British Fashion Council’s designer support pathway.
The showroom is a space for designers to sell their collections to a trade audience with the support of international marketing, media and sales advisers.
Each season LONDON show ROOMS takes emerging designers to Paris giving them the opportunity to promote themselves overseas. It also takes designers to international key markets including LA, New York, Brazil and Hong Kong.
LONDON FASHION WEEK
London Fashion Week takes place twice a year in February and September showcasing over 250 designers to a global audience of influential media and retailers. It is estimated that orders of over £100m are placed during LFW each season.
For the Spring / Summer 2017 edition of London Fashion Week there were over 350,000 mentions of ‘London Fashion Week’ and #LFW on Twitter; 121,000 images added to Instagram that included #LFW; over 90% of the shows were live streamed to YouTube and watched in 197 countries.
LONDON FASHION WEEK MEN'S
In the summer of 2012, the BFC introduced London Fashion Week Men's, a dedicated showcase of British menswear talent. Taking place every January and June, London Fashion Week Men's has grown by 67% since it was first founded. The last London Fashion Week Men's schedule comprised of 32 catwalk shows, 37 presentations and over 70 designers in the Designer Showrooms.
Designers as diverse as the Savile Row stalwarts Gieves & Hawkes and Hardy Amies; the homegrown British designers John Smedley and J.W. Anderson; and, of course, global brands like Tom Ford and Burberry have all shown at London Fashion Week Mens.
The British Fashion Council brings together a working party comprising the AMA, model agency representatives, Equity, and the Mayor of London’s office to develop an on-going Model Programme. The panel looks at opportunities
to help set industry standards.
The British Fashion Council runs The Model Zone during London Fashion Week and London Fashion Week Mens to act as an information point for models and a dedicated private space to relax with healthy food. The British Fashion Council requires that designers supply food and drinks backstage and that all models walking at London Fashion Week are at least 16 years of age.
THE WIDER ARTS SECTOR
The Fashion Arts Foundation aims to nurture collaborations and foster relationships between fashion, film, music and art talent. Through this strategy the BFC aims to highlight London's position as a leading creative capital and reaffirm the UK fashion industry's reputation for innovation.
In 2012, the BFC created the 'Britain Creates' project which was designed to strengthen the longstanding relationships between fashion designers and visuals arts. Nine unique art works were created to celebrate the London 2012 Festival.
THE BRITISH FASHION COUNCIL EDUCATION FOUNDATION
The BFC Education Foundation is a charitable trust that looks to help young people enter into the UK fashion industry for the first time by sponsoring students, apprentices, graduates and interns.
Together with the Colleges Council, the Educational Foundation organises events, bursaries, scholarships, competitions and internships throughout the industry.
Dame Natalie Massenet, the Chairman of the British Fashion Council, talks about the importance of 'Fashtech' and the way in which British fashion designers are driving innovation in this space.
The Fashion Forum is an all day event that includes seminars, fire-side chats, brainstorming and networking sessions for an intimate group. The Fashion Forum is a think tank to openly debate and discuss the important issues of the sector; engage the investment, finance and broader fashion communities; to showcase businesses with high potential for growth and to generate investment opportunities.
Founded by Natalie Massenet MBE, Caroline Rush CBE and Jonathan Goodwin, the Fashion Forum is the first of its kind in the UK, bringing together all aspects of the fashion, tech and investment industries – creating a private and powerful network of global influences.
In June 2014, the inaugural Fashion Forum was hosted at Syon House, the London home of the Duke of Northumberland. The event began with a special welcome dinner at the Rosewood London on the evening of Monday 23rd June, hosted by Jonathan Goodwin and Natalie Massenet MBE.
The Forum welcomed over 180 guests from across the world including British and international designers and brands, investors, financiers, tech businesses, creative agencies, PRs, retailers, online businesses and luxury groups.
THE FASHION AWARDS
Every year since 1984, when Katharine Hamnett won Designer of the Year, the BFC has organised The Fashion Awards. This award ceremony recognises the best British and global talent as voted for by the fashion industry. In 2016, The Fashion Awards will take place at the Royal Albert Hall and will be attended by over 3000 people - both VIPs and interested fashion fans.
“London has always been a real hub of creativity but in recent years it has returned to prominence as a city that champions incredible talent, both emerging and established, across all aspects of design. Our capital is now a magnet for upcoming talent from across the world.” Christopher Bailey, MBE, Burberry.
This exhibit was created by the British Fashion Council. All rights belong to the British Fashion Council unless otherwise specifically stated. All models and photographers have been credited where known.