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BFC funds international expansion for British designers

The British Fashion Council (BFC) has launched a fund to aid British design companies to become global brands.

One designer will be awarded £200,000 in cash, plus a year of mentoring and business support from industry experts. The judges may award additional mentoring and business support to other designers.

To be eligible, designers must have an established business with UK and international stockists. They must be based in the UK and demonstrate support from key media here and overseas. They must also be able to present a business plan to detail what they would achieve with the funding.

The BFC Vogue Designer Fashion Fund is backed by Vogue magazine and is inviting applications from designers between today and December 2. The judges will view the applications and create a shortlist of designers who will be invited in for interview. The winner and finalists will be announced in April 2010.

The BFC already runs designer support schemes via its Newgen and Fashion Forward schemes but this latest Fashion Fund scheme adds a new dimension by focusing on global expansion for UK designers.

BFC chairman, Harold Tillman said: “Last September, at 10 Downing Street, I announced our vision for the fund as a legacy of our 25th anniversary. Today, we are able to launch this landmark designer support scheme in partnership with Vogue. London is recognised as being a world leader in creative talent, however building on initial success has often proved challenging even for our most promising designer businesses. This scheme aims to support designers who are at a stage in their development where they require top level advice alongside a cash injection to achieve longer term success and to move their brand onto the global stage.”

Interested designers can find more information at www.britishfashioncouncil.com

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