business boost from london fashion week aw15
(Above: House of Holland at London Fashion Week AW15. Image credit:Shaun James Cox, BFC).
Support measures to help UK fashion design talent were announced as part of London Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2015, building on the buzz created by the fashion event.
Measures unveiled by the British Fashion Council as part of its 'Business Pillar' strategy include a new series of Explorer workshops to demystify the fashion industry for graduates, partnerships with business schools to nurture management talent and plans to relunch materials such as the Designer Fact File.
The BFC's current talent schemes will be restructured to give greater support for new designers and a fashion entrepreneur programme will also be introduced. Support to help designers become future brands will also be increased through the launch of a Brand Builders programme which will pair new fashion businesses with experienced mentors.
KPMG, the professional services advisory firm, will become a patron of the BFC and support Business Pillar activities.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “British designers are internationally renowned for their
innovative ideas and craftsmanship. Over the past few years British Fashion Council
business support and mentoring programmes have had an important role in ensuring our designers are
able to develop and thrive in a highly competitive sector.
"Strengthening this activity will help ensure that even more of them will be able to maximise the business potential of their amazing talent, which can only be a good thing for our city’s reputation for creativity and for our economy.”
Nicholas Kirkwood, previous NEWGEN recipient and winner of the 2013 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion
Fund, added: “The sense of support for designers in both the industry and the press as well as between
designers themselves makes London a very special place. Initiatives from the BFC such as NEWGEN and
the Vogue Fashion Fund were key supporting moments for me.”
The announcement was part of the 61st edition of London Fashion Week, with 78 designers scheduled to showcase their work. Particpating brands included established names such as Anya Hindmarch, Burberry Prorsum, Paul Smith, Topshop Unique and Vivienne Westwood Red Label.
Prominent 'Future' brands such as Erdem, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou and Jonathan Saunders showed during the week, alongside emerging talent including Simone Rocha, Thomas Tait and Ryan Lo.
In the International Fashion Showcase, the winners were announced as Julia Manisto (International Fashion Showcase Designer Award) and Yegwa Ukpo (International Fashion Showcase Curation Award).
Colombia was selected from nearly 30 countries as the winning country.
Vicky Richardson, Director of Architecture, Design, Fashion at the British Council, commented: “The
International Fashion Showcase provides a valuable platform for young designers from all over the world to
share design culture from their own countries and to participate in London Fashion Week. It is inspiring to
see such a wealth of talent on display and we’re delighted that 30 countries have taken part. London is a
world leader for emerging design talent and we look forward to seeing the future fruits of the partnerships
and collaborations formed between designers and countries during this year’s IFS.”
Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent and Contributing Editor to US Vogue, said: “The International Fashion Showcase is a unique project and the first to promote the work of emerging young designers from all over the world on such a large scale. It builds on London's reputation for shining the spotlight on young talent and celebrating diverse fashion cultures.”