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British Fashion Council announces Newgen winners

Sykes and LP.BG are among the new names to be awarded Newgen sponsorship by the British Fashion Council (BFC) this season.

Some 17 designers have been awarded funding for either a catwalk show, a presentation or an exhibition as part of London Fashion Week, which takes place on September 18-22 at Somerset House. They will also get business advice from the BFC, Lloyds TSB, Shoosmiths and accountants Baker Tilly.

Presentation sponsorship is new for this season and will allow four winners to show collections in their own way, such as through mini-catwalks.

Presentation sponsorship went to Danielle Scutt, who will show a range of surrealist-inspired womenswear; Louise Gray, whose embroidery and use of strong colour won the judges’ approval; LP.BG, a duo who design wearable womenswear pieces and Sykes, run by Joanna Sykes who recently launched her Freda range for London-based designer indie chain Matches.

The recipients of catwalk sponsorship were House of Holland, knitwear designer Mark Fast, Mary Katrantzou, who is famed for her striking prints, womenswear label Meadham Kirchoff and design duo Peter Pilotto.

With the exception of Meadham Kirchoff, all Newgen catwalk and presentation designers will also receive exhibition sponsorship, as will Atalanta Weller, Cooperative Designs, Craig Lawrence, Dominic Jones, Fred Butler, KTZ, Michael Lewis and Michael van der Ham.

The Newgen scheme started in 1993, supporting six new designers, one of whom was Alexander McQueen. Since then it has helped lauch the careers of Giles Deacon, Matthew Williamson and Christopher Kane. This year, it is once again sponsored by Topshop.

Sarah Mower, the newly appointed BFC ambassador for emerging talent, said: “These are tough times for new designers and what keeps Newgen going is the creativity and the generosity of spirit. This year we reviewed 166 collections and picked out some truly inspirational winners.”

Ben Grimes, one half of winner LP.BG, said: “Newgen is the ultimate thing to achieve in London. The show gives you the sort of press you couldn’t hope to achieve otherwise and the business support is really tailored to meet the needs of each designer so it’s invaluable.” 

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