Natalie Massenet (BFC Chairman) and James McArthur (CEO, Anya Hindmarch & BFC Business Pillar President) celebrated with designer business mentors at the official opening of London Fashion Week AW15. This season, LFW celebrates the BFC's Business Pillar.
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Over the past two years the British Fashion Council (BFC) has been working with James McArthur, CEO of Anya Hindmarch and President of the BFC Business Pillar to review the BFC’s business support strategy to help build designer brands of the future. This reboot aims to reinforce London’s reputation as the city to start, develop and grow a designer fashion business.
The BFC calculated that each year 10,000 hours is spent on mentoring London Fashion Week (LFW) designers through BFC initiatives which include BFC Rock Vault, BFC Headonism, Newgen sponsored by Topshop, Newgen Men sponsored by Topman, BFC Contemporary sponsored by eBay, BFC / Vogue Designer Fashion Fund and BFC / GQ Designer Menswear Fund supported by Vertu. The list of graduates from these initiatives spans the hundreds with some of the first designers including Alexander McQueen, Antonio Berardi, Clements Ribeiro, Julien Macdonald and Matthew Williamson.
Today, over 50% of the London Fashion Week schedule is populated by designers who have graduated or are in BFC initiatives including Christopher Kane, Christopher Raeburn, David Koma, Erdem, Gareth Pugh, Giles, House of Holland, Jonathan Saunders, J.W. Anderson, Mary Katrantzou, Osman, Peter Pilotto and Roksanda.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “British designers are internationally renowned for their innovative ideas and craftsmanship. There is justifiably always a huge buzz around London Fashion Week, with journalists and buyers jetting in from around the world. 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.”
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Source: London Fashion Week