These are the first recipients of the BFC’s £1m COVID Crisis Fund
Bianca Saunders, Chopova Lowena and Charles Jeffrey all feature, and there are future rounds of funding to come.
Charles Jeffrey AW20. Photography Mitchell Sams
Back in March, we reported on the British Fashion Council’s creation of a £1m fund to support independent designer businesses in the UK affected by the pandemic. Composed of grants typically awarded through the organisation’s numerous talent support initiatives, among them NEWGEN and the BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund, the announcement came as a welcome lifeline to the country’s designer businesses, all of whom have encountered disruption all along the length of their supply chains.
“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,” said Caroline Rush, the BFC’s Chief Executive, “The need for support is immense.”
Today, the first 37 recipients of the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the COVID-19 Crisis have been announced, with each to receive up to £50,000 in financial support, as well as mentoring from the BFC’s Fashion Business Network:
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.
Those that missed out on this first round shouldn’t, however, feel too disheartened -- there are plans to offer further support already in the pipeline. “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,” continued Caroline.
That will, however, depend on support from beyond the BFC’s purse. “While one million pounds of funding is a great start, the scale of the need is much greater and BFC has called on both Government [...], and on the industry and individuals to support the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund through donations,” read a statement. “BFC estimates that £100m of support in different forms will be needed to help protect this decade’s generation of talent over the next 12 to 18 months. The fund will re-open for further rounds of applications so that more meaningful support can be given, every time the £500,000 milestone is reached.”