The BFC Reveals the First Recipients of the BFC Foundation Fund

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Richard Malone Autumn/Winter 2020 AW20 London Fashion Week
Richard Malone Autumn/Winter 2020Photography by Paul Phung

The emergency fund will see £1,000,000 split between 37 designer businesses in the UK facing the after-effects of the coronavirus crisis

This morning, the British Fashion Council revealed the first recipients of the BFC Foundation Fund, an emergency scheme to help designer businesses based in the UK face the coronavirus crisis. It comes in response to last month’s findings, whereby the BFC estimated that 35 per cent of young designers in Britain will not make it past the next three months, and that over half of the industry could be wiped out by the end of the year if interventions are not taken.

The fund – currently worth £1,000,000 – will be split between viable fashion businesses of all sizes, dependent on their ability to make it through the next stages of the crisis. A list of 37 names, which are each eligible receive up to £50,000, make up the first round of funding (the fund will re-open each time £500,000 is received in donations) and encompass mens- and womenswear businesses both established and emerging. The recipients of this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund – Alighieri, Charles Jeffery LOVERBOY, David Koma, Halpern, Metier and Rejina Pyo – will all receive funding as part of the scheme (the money from such previous schemes, including NEWGEN, has all been pooled for the fund).

Supporters of the fund include organisations from both inside and outside the fashion industry, ranging from BFC Fashion Trust Supporters, Browns and Burberry, to depop, Mayor of London and Paul Smith.

“Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen an astonishing amount of applications come through from British designer businesses all over the country, asking for help to survive the crisis,” says Caroline Rush, chief executive of the BFC. “The need for support is immense. Our hope is to re-open the fund for future rounds, to help as many businesses as possible, and ensure the future growth and success of the British fashion industry.”

The BFC Foundation Fund currently has no end date – the BFC estimates that £100 million will be needed over the next 12 to 18 months in order to keep the British fashion industry afloat, and encourages those businesses in a position to donate to get in touch. Donations for the next round of funding have already been received from Alexander McQueen, Browns, Clearpay and Coach Foundation, among others.

A full list of nominees is below:

Alighieri, 16Arlington, Ahluwalia, Aries, Art School, Bethany Williams, Bianca Saunders, Chalayan, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, Chopova Lowena, Craig Green, David Koma, E. Tautz, E.L.V. DENIM, Edeline Lee, EFTYCHIA, Halpern, King & Tuckfield, Kwaidan Editions, Liam Hodges, Matty Bovan, Metier, Nabil Nayal, NEOUS, Nicholas Daley, palmer//harding, Paper London, paria/FARZANEH, Per Gotesson, Phoebe English, RAEBURN, Rejina Pyo, Richard Malone, Richard Quinn, Roksanda, Stefan Cooke, Toogood.