The British Fashion Council (BFC) announced the finalists for its inaugural BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund, an initiative that assists up-and-coming British talent whose creative businesses have potential for commercial growth.
The shortlist of designers includes Angel Jackson, Christopher Kane, Clements Ribeiro, E.Tautz, Erdem, Marios Schwab, Nicholas Kirkwood, and Richard Nicoll, according to a press release on the BFC’s website.
“The industry support that we have received for The British Fashion Council’s Vogue Designer Fashion Fund so far has been fantastic…I strongly believe this scheme will play a key role in developing businesses in the future,” explained BFC Chairman Harold Tillman (pictured above).
Launched in November 2009, the Fund will award one winning designer with 200,000 and a network of industry mentors to help develop the recipient’s global fashion brand. Awards of mentoring and business support may be presented to additional recipients at the discretion of the judging panel, which is headed by British Vogue‘s EIC, Alexandra Shulman (also pictured above).
Finalists will be judged based on their work over the past year, and the winner will be declared in the May issue of British Vogue.
The BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund is modeled after the partnership between the CFDA and Vogue in the US, which has launched the careers of Proenza Schouler, Jason Wu, Alexander Wang, and Rodarte since its inception in 2003.
The results won’t be in until May, but here are a few of our predictions for who will take home the 200,000 prize.
1. Richard Nicoll
Fresh out of Central Saint Martins, Dolce & Gabbana bought this wunderkind’s entire graduate collection. Last fall, he wowed the crowds at his S/S 2010 show with sweet and easy women’s daywear. His pieces are available at Barney’s and Open Ceremony, and he’s even done a few collaborations (Thomas Pink, Topshop, and People Tree). We have a feeling that a major prize like this will catapult his career.
This Royal College of Art grad is known for his chic color choices in his finely crafted womenswear pieces. “I never really do theme,” Erdem Moralioglu told Style.com. “I always think it should just be like reading the next chapter of the same book.” Though he only launched his collection in 2006, this gifted newcomer is already making a statement with bold fabrics and intense prints.
3. Nicholas Kirkwood
Another Saint Martins alum, Kirkwood has developed a shoe line that has quickly become a favorite among fashionistas like Sarah Jessica Parker and Daphne Guinness. He rose to new levels after collaborating with Rodarte for their Fall 2009 presention, and at just 29 years old, Kirkwood definitely has a long career ahead of him.