We live in a time in which somewhere in the world, at any given moment, a fashion competition is taking place. After yesterday’s announcement of the winners of the International Woolmark Prize comes the shortlist for this year’s British Fashion Council/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.
The competition is somewhat similar to its American counterpart, in that there is both a monetary prize as well as mentoring for the winners. That’s right, “winners” plural—this year the £200,000 (over $250,000) will be split up to three recipients. They will also receive mentoring and advice from the BFC’s Business Support team.
This 2017 designer shortlist includes Huishan Zhang, Mother of Pearl, Osman, Toogood, Palmer//Harding, Shrimps, and Sophie Hulme.
“We are so fortunate to have an amazing pool of talent in London and this year’s shortlist is no exception,” said Caroline Rush, chief executive of the BFC. “All the designers have demonstrated incredible talent and strong business skills. I believe they all have the potential to become the UK’s next global brands and the new format of the Fund will help them achieve that goal.”
While it’s fantastic that the global fashion community is so committed to supporting young talent, it is also telling of the difficulties young and emerging brands face in the current fashion climate. While the monetary prize is, of course, welcome, as with many of these competitions, the biggest helping hand will likely be the mentorship opportunity.
The winners will be chosen by a committee (which includes Alexandra Shulman of British Vogue, Caroline Rush, among others), and will be announced April 4.