The British Fashion Council (BFC) and Vogue Fashion Designer Fund has joined forces with Chinese etail giant JD.com.
JD.com’s fashion division JD Fashion, which launched earlier this year, will help designers that are part of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund with access to the Chinese market.
The partnership aims to support Britain’s design talent and increase their footprint in China.
The deal will take effect in January 2018 and will benefit the 2018 fund winners. To launch this partnership JD Fashion supported Mary Katrantzou, who won in 2015, and Huishan Zhang, shortlisted this year, on their London Fashion Week September 2017 shows
BFC chief executive Caroline Rush said: “The Chinese market is extremely important to our designers. This partnership with JD Fashion is very exciting as it will enable us to offer to the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund expertise on how to best penetrate the Chinese market.”
Xia Ding, president at JD Fashion said: “We believe strongly in partnering with designers throughout their careers, from helping them get their start in the industry, to entering the Chinese market and building their brands, to protecting their IP. This marks a starting point for what we expect to be a deep, long-term relationship with the British fashion community.”
JD.com joins existing funders including British Vogue, Burberry, Harrods, LABEL, Paul Smith and Topshop.
The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is part of the BFC’s business support initiatives aimed at supporting British designers and businesses from school level to emerging talent and future fashion start-ups through to new establishment and global brands.
Previous winners of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund include Christopher Kane, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto and Sophia Webster.
Womenswear brand Mother of Pearl and shirting brand Palmer Harding were named as the winners of this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fund in April.