The shortlist for the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund, supported by Vertu, has been announced and includes five of the most talked about menswear talents in the UK: Christopher Raeburn, Christopher Shannon, E. Tautz, Lou Dalton and Richard Nicoll.
Selected by a judging panel, each shortlisted designer was chosen as their label is in a “strong position to develop into a global designer brand” and ready for the level of the support the fund was designed to offer. The shortlisted designers will participate in a mentoring programme developed by the BFC over the next month, where industry experts will provide guidance on topics including branding, leadership, commercial retail, e-tail and wholesale and digital innovation.
Dylan Jones, editor of British GQ and chair of London Collections: Men said: “The shortlisted designers are testament to the extraordinary array of talent in the menswear industry in Britain right now. The current generation of British menswear designers might be the best ever, as they not only have creativity in abundance, but also a keen business sense.
“Our young designers know that without a solid business background, success can be tough, which is why it is so heartening to see such strong business plans from these shortlisted designers. I wish them all well.”
Following their mentoring sessions, the shortlisted designers will then pitch their business plans to a judging panel in June 2014 when a winner will be selected to receive a 150,000 pound grant to provide necessary infrastructure to take them to the next stage in their business as well as 50,000 pounds value-in-kind services.
Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, added: “We’re delighted to extend this level of business support to five truly deserving menswear talents. After reviewing their business plans, it was clear each of these designers are at an accomplished stage of their business and will really benefit from the mentoring sessions.”