The British Fashion Council (BFC) is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to further the interests of the British fashion industry and its designer businesses by harnessing and sharing collective knowledge, experience and resources of the sector. Based in London and formed in 1983, the BFC is funded by industry patrons, commercial sponsors and the government including the Mayor of London and the European Regional Development Fund. It leads 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, and has appointed pillar presidents to help drive each element forward.
The BFC showcases the best of British fashion design to an international audience including press and buyers. London Fashion Week, its biannual showcase of womenswear occurs every February and September. London Collections Men, its biannual menswear showcase was established in 2012 and occurs every January and June. 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. The BFC also organises the British Fashion Awards, the UK’s annual celebration of excellence within the industry and London Fashion Weekend, a biannual shopping event open to the public.
Furthermore, the BFC helps designers at various stages of their businesses through its support initiatives. These include the Colleges Council, an initiative that offers MA scholarships and facilitates links between the fashion industry and fashion graduates; BFC Fashion Film; Rock Vault, its fine jewellery initiative; Headonism, a millinery initiative; and its menswear and womenswear talent identification, business support and showcasing schemes NEWGEN sponsored by TOPSHOP, NEWGEN MEN sponsored by TOPMAN, BFC Contemporary sponsored by eBay and the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund. The BFC also runs and owns charities including the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, the BFC Fashion Trust, the Fashion Arts Foundation and the BFC Princess of Wales Charitable Trust. The BFC has published the Designer Fact-File, an online handbook for designers, and the first ever in-depth statistic-based reports on the fashion industry, most notably, The Value of Fashion (2010, figures updated in 2014) and The Future of Fashion (2012) and Commercialising Creativity (2014).