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Asos and BFC in talks about young designers initiative

Etail giant Asos is understood to be in talks with the British Fashion Council to launch a hothousing initiative for talented young designers.

Talks between the BFC’s new chairman, Net-A-Porter founder Natalie Massenet, and Asos chief executive Nick Robertson are at a very early stage but are believed to centre on the idea of Asos providing working space, pattern cutting facilities, and access to its UK manufacturing base for up and coming new designers at its headquarters in Camden, London.

The arrangement would give the designers the opportunity to launch their collections without incurring overheads that often cripple their business before its even started and have seen many talented young names fall by the wayside.

Asos has also said that it is willing to pay upfront for runs of product to sell on the ‘marketplace’ part of its site which would help the designers with cashflow.

The initiative would be the first stage in Massenet’s stated plan of making the BFC more business-focussed. She told the audience at the launch of last season’s London Fashion Week that she wanted to create a legacy of sustainable investment in fashion businesses in the UK. 

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