London Fashion Week designer Mary Katrantzou, known for her vibrant
digital prints, has beaten off competition from Emilia Wickstead, Holly
Fulton, Michael van der Ham, Mother of Pearl, Osman and Sophia Webster to
win this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.
The fund, established in 2008, provides the winning designer with a
bespoke, high level mentoring support programme over a 12-month period, as
well as a grant of 200,000 pounds to provide them with the “necessary
infrastructure” to take them to the next stage in their business.
“Mary Katrantzou is incredibly deserving of this year’s award,” said
Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue and chair of the BFC/Vogue
Designer Fashion Fund. “It was an extremely diverse shortlist but
ultimately we all agreed that Mary has not only created a strong and hugely
appealing identity for her work but that she has put in place measures
that, along with the support of this prize, should ensure an exciting and
successful next stage of her career.”
The shortlist of designers were invited to present their collections
along with a five-year business plan to the judging committee, which is
made up of representatives from businesses that support the prize and
industry experts, including the BFC chief executive Caroline Rush, Mary
Homer from Topshop, Joan Burstein from Browns, Sarah Manley from Burberry,
and model Naomi Campbell.
BFC names Mary Katrantzou as the Fashion Fund 2015 winner
BFC’s Caroline Rush added: “A huge congratulations goes to Mary who has
deservingly received this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. As anyone
who has met her knows, she is a tireless worker, has an abundance of
creativity and has grown from being one of London Fashion Week’s must-see
emerging talents to one of the world’s most talked about designers. It
really is a pleasure working with Mary and we are thrilled that we are able
to support her business at an exciting time of growth.”
Previous winners have included, Peter Pilotto (2014), Nicholas Kirkwood
(2013), Jonathan Saunders (2012), Christopher Kane (2011) and Erdem (2010),
all of which have seen their businesses grow in scope and reach, with
several attracting business investment in the following years.
To celebrate the fund, which is now in its sixth year, the BFC has also
created an online video series called ‘Designer Fashion Fund’, which
follows the application process, interviews with the judging panel, and
celebrates the previous winners of the fund. The episodes will be published
during the course of 2015 on Youtube.com/BritishFashionTV and Vogue.co.uk.
Image: Mary Katrantzou with Alexandra Shulman and Natalie Massenet –
British Fashion Council
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