The British Fashion Council (BFC) and GQ magazine have announced the creation of the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund, a new initiative to champion the talent of British men’s fashion designers in a similar format to BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund that has supported designers Erdem, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders and Nicholas Kirkwood since it was launched in September 2009.
Valued at £200,000, the fund will comprise a monetary prize and a mentoring programme (provided by Vertu) focussed on professional business development. It is aimed at menswear businesses that have been trading for a minimum of three years, with UK and international stockists and who have graduated through the existing BFC talent support schemes or are at a similar stage in their business.
A judging panel of industry experts will select a long list of applicants to attend an interview after which up to eight businesses will be shortlisted based on their contribution to the reputation of the British fashion industry, commercial achievements to date and a three-year business plan. Those shortlisted will take part in an eight-month mentoring programme that will entail close involvement with global fashion brands and media. At the end of this period, designers will be asked to present their reviewed three-year plan and their most recent collections to a panel of judges that will select one winner.