The British Fashion Council said today that the Fashion Awards 2016, which were hosted last month in association with Swarovski, were successful in raising sufficient funds in support of the BFC Education Foundation.
The event raised 700,000 pounds, or $875,196 at current exchange, with 400,000 pounds ($500,112) going toward supporting the BFC’s Newgen scheme, which supports some of the city’s most promising up-and-coming designers, and the Colleges Council, which brings together more than 30 fashion and design schools across the U.K. and spearheads the distribution of scholarships to students.
The remaining 300,000 pounds ($375,084) has been donated to the BFC Education Foundation charity, which aims to fund scholarships for bachelor of arts and master of arts students across the country.
The event, which was rebranded to reach a more international audience and took place at London’s Royal Albert Hall for the first time, was also the inaugural annual fundraiser gala for the Education Foundation.
The BFC said that the Fashion Awards’ donation is the largest single donation ever made to the charity. It aims to raise 10 million pounds ($12.5 million) in the next 10 years through the annual event in order to provide support for British fashion talent, as the U.K. government has withdrawn its education grants and increased tuition fees.
“We are delighted that the event has enabled us to make the largest single donation to the BFC Education Foundation since it was first established in 1997. At this moment in time, sending a strong and clear message that London is a city that is commercially and culturally open, and that our global industry can come together and collaborate, is incredibly powerful,” said BFC chief executive Caroline Rush. She extended her gratitude to a number of designers and brands already supporting the charity, among them Erdem Moralioglu, Charlotte Dellal, Coach, Marks & Spencer and Mulberry.
Some 4,000 people attended the event, with guests including David Beckham, who handed Ralph Lauren the Special Recognition award at the end of the evening; Kate Beckinsale, who presented Simone Rocha with the Women’s Wear Designer of the Year prize, as well as Lady Gaga, Stella Tennant, Salma Hayek Pinault and Tom Ford, who gave Franca Sozzani the Swarovski award.
“As exciting and glamorous as the awards event was, the evening’s main purpose was as a fundraiser and it was hugely successful,” added Natalie Massenet, chairman of the BFC. “We are delighted, however, that the international fashion industry came together in London in support of our British talent pipeline, which ultimately forms a crucial part of the entire industry. We couldn’t have raised this money if we didn’t produce this event with the support of Swarovski.”