The initiative was created to help boost the UK's contemporary fashion markets and to remind young designers the benefits of embracing the high street. Although demand for contemporary labels such as Maje, Sandro and Acne is on the rise, the market for contemporary fashion in the UK remains modest in comparison, with many designers missing out on spotlight shone on their high-fashion and catwalk colleagues.
Alexis Barrell, Georgia Hardinge, Kelly Townsend from Paper London, Anna Laub from Prism and Zoë Jordan are the first recipients for the BFC Contemporary initiative and were chosen for their “creative excellence, commercial potential and originality in the contemporary arena.”
The BFC Contemporary to offers unique mentorship programmes for fashion designers
The BFC and eBay are set to work closely alongside with the selected designers and will aid them in building their brand concepts, enhancing their their production, budgets, scalability, online and offline growth as well as consumer experience. Each mentoring session is set to be tailored made to the designers individual needs.
“We are delighted to support and help accelerate the growth of these very viable fashion businesses,” commented Caroline Rush, CEO of the BFC. “Each of the inaugural BFC Contemporary designers possess incredible creativity and strong brand concepts. With invaluable support from eBay, these designers mark a new wave in British contemporary design, the rise of which we aim to fuel with this new initiative.”
One of the first projects for the recipients is to create a limited edition item that reflects the DNA of their label. These items are set to go on sale online on eBay.co.uk during London Fashion Week this September, on a specially curated shop.
“We are very proud to be partnering with the British Fashion Council this season, to launch this exciting new initiative,” said Melanie Smallwood, had of curation and merchandising at eBay. “BFC Contemporary reflects eBay’s ongoing commitment to support emerging design talent, assisting the recipients in fulfilling their business ambitions.”
The BFC noted that although the inaugural designers were invited to apply for the BFC Contemporary, next year official application for the initiative will be open to all contemporary fashion designers in search of support.
Images: Paper London and Zoë Jordan