London-based designer Mary Katrantzou is celebrating today following the announcement of her high-profile win of the coveted BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. Katrantzou, who has already established herself as a firm presence on the London fashion scene, beat fellow creatives Emilia Wickstead, Holly Fulton, Michael van der Ham, Mother of Pearl, Osman and Sophia Webster.
The Fashion Fund, established in 2008, gives the lucky winner a chance to re-evaluate their business and build it through the £200,000 prize money and mentoring from exclusive industry insiders. Previous winners include the likes of Peter Pilotto, Nicholas Kirkwood, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane and Erdem, who have all gone on to become global and recognisable fashion brands. “You know, I’ve applied before, but this time really is the most important year for us,” said Katrantzou to Vogue upon hearing of her win. “You go through different stages of growth in your business and this past year specifically has been huge for us so it’s incredible to win now. You are constantly called to raise your game by all the amazing talent that’s around you here in London and that can inspire you to do great things. I’m so grateful.”
With a judging panel that included Naomi Campbell and BFC Chief Executive Caroline Rush, as well as sponsorship by Burberry, Debenhams, Harrods, Paul Smith, Topshop and British Vogue, there can be no doubt that Katrantzou’s win will resonate within the industry. “It was an extremely diverse short list, but ultimately, we all agreed that Mary has not only created a strong and hugely appealing identity for her work, but has put in place measures that, along with the support of this prize, should ensure an exciting and successful next stage of her career,” said Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue and chair of the fund, to WWD.