LONDON — The British Fashion Council has announced the first round of designers who will receive financial support to help them tackle the COVID-19 crisis.
Some 37 designers were selected from more than 200 applications and include a number of more seasoned names such as Roksanda Ilincic, Hussein Chalayan, David Koma and Christopher Raeburn, as well as some of London Fashion Week’s most promising young talents including Richard Quinn, Matty Bovan, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Alighieri, 16Arlington, Halpern, Rejina Pyo, Eftychia and Stefan Cooke.
Among the other young talents receiving support are Ahluwalia, Aries, Bianca Saunders, LVMH Prize nominee Chopova Lowena, Craig Green, E. Tautz, E.L.V. Denim, Edeline Lee, Kwaidan Editions, Metier, footwear label Neous, Liam Hodges, Nabil Nayal, Nicholas Daley, Palmer Harding, Paper London, Paria /Farzaneh, Per Götesson, Phoebe English, Richard Malone and Toogood.
Each brand will receive up to 50,000 pounds, as well as access to business support and mentoring from BFC partners ranging from Farfetch, Eco-Age, YouTube, Instagram, Google and Value Retail.
The BFC said the designers were chosen based on their business’ urgency to receive the support and their “capability to come through and thrive post-crisis.”
“The need for support is immense. Our hope is to reopen the fund for future rounds, to help as many businesses as possible, and ensure the future growth and success of the British fashion industry,” said the organization’s chief executive officer, Caroline Rush.
The money will come from the BFC’s one million pounds emergency support fund. It was created by pooling a series of existing talent support grants, such as NewGen and the Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, that would have been given to up-and-coming talent to support their London Fashion Week shows or to promote their businesses.
As part of the initiative, this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund has been equally distributed among the six nominees, David Koma, Rejina Pyo, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Metier, Michael Halpern and Alighieri, rather than going to a single brand or designer.
The aim of the BFC is to reopen the fund for further rounds of applications every time a 500,000 pound milestone is reached. So far, the bigger fashion firms and retailers including Alexander McQueen, Browns and Coach, have all contributed to the second round of funding.
It is estimated that up to 100 million pounds will be needed to keep young fashion businesses afloat as they navigate the crisis and its aftermath over the next 12 to 18 months, according to the BFC, which is calling on the support of the broader industry to help it achieve the required funding, as well as the British government to work on industry-specific stimulus packages.