The coveted seven places on the BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund shortlist have now been announced. Emilia Wickstead, Holly Fulton, Mary Katrantzou, Michael van der Ham, Mother of Pearl, Osman and Sophia Webster are the lucky designers in the running to receive the £20,000 prize fund which, in addition to a 12-month mentoring scheme from other industry leaders, will take their design talents and business to new heights. Whilst competition was fierce, the lucky seven were judged by the panel to be “in a strong position to develop into a global designer brand, and represent the best of London’s thriving fashion talent.”
Sponsored by Burberry, Debehams, Topshop, Harrods, Paul Smith and Vogue, the Fashion Fund is an opportunity that young and emerging design talents crave, and one that can make them a hit in Britain’s style capital. “It was exciting to have such a diverse shortlist to consider, all of whom have carved out a distinctive niche for themselves,” said Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, who chairs the Fund committee. “I congratulate all of them for reaching this stage in a highly competitive arena.” And with a judging panel that includes the likes of Victoria Beckham, Naomi Campbell and Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of The British Fashion Council, there can be no doubt that the designers’ talents will be judged by only the highest ranking members of the fashion world. “[The candidates all] have the incredible potential to change the future of British fashion and are all worthy candidates for the 2015 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund,” explained Rush.
The Designer Fashion Fund is now entering its sixth year and talents such as Erdem, Christopher Kane, Peter Pilotto and Jonathan Saunders, all previous winners, have counted on the grant and industry connections it provides in order to grow and expand their labels. In addition to announcing this year’s winner on 24 March in London, the competition will be documented in a series of online clips that show the behind-the-scenes process of the judging panel, as well as exclusive interviews with the designers themselves, all of which can be viewed on YouTube or through Vogue’s website.