There is something quite heartening about watching the fashion industry support itself, and watching fashion councils around the world help members of their communities flourish. Yesterday, news broke that the CFDA called for immigration reform to better support the fashion industry, and today, the British Fashion Council has announced 15 emerging designers that will receive support from its NEWGEN program.
NEWGEN, which was launched in 1993, offers financial support, as well as mentoring, business training, and promotional opportunities to young brands to help them grow. In the past, the NEWGEN program has helped brands including J.W.Anderson, Marques’Almeida, and Alexander McQueen, to name a few. This year, the BFC announced a new format, which sees the sponsorship being awarded annually to men’s and womenswear brands that will show at London’s respective fashion weeks.
This year’s menswear labels (some of whom are receiving support for the first time) include A-Cold-Wall*, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Cottweiler, Kiko Kostadinov, Liam Hodges, Nicholas Daley, Phoebe English Man, and Wales Bonner—all of whom will show at London Fashion Week Men’s in June. The womenswear designers (who will show at London Fashion Week in September) include Halpern, Marta Jakubowski, Molly Goddard, Paula Knorr, Richard Malon, and Sadie Williams. All of the designers will also be given showroom space at the Designer Showrooms at The Store Studios after their shows, where they will be able to hold press and buyer appointments.
Finally, Richard Quinn (who won H&M’s design award last November), has been given “One to Watch” support, which also includes exhibition space in the Designer Showrooms during fashion week in September. Former “One to Watch” designers have included Craig Green and Faustine Steinmetz, so it’s safe to say that Quinn is one to keep an eye on.
It should also be mentioned that this year, The Fashion Awards and Swarovski have been fundraising for the BFC Education Foundation, which has provided £400,000 to programs that support young designers, NEWGEN among them.