Sponsored by The British Fashion Council, the NEWGEN initiative aims to accelerate growth for emerging talents through financial support, mentoring and exposure opportunities. This year, it also extends to include accessories designers, alongside womenswear and menswear designers.
British knitwear creative Matty Bovan, Swedish menswear designer Per Gotesson, and womenswear talent Supriya Lele were revealed as this year’s NEWGEN scheme winners, alongside accessories labels Alighieri, Isosceles, and The Season Hats.
Existing NEWGEN designers A-COLD-WALL * , Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, Halpern, Kiko Kostadinov, Liam Hodges, Nicholas Daley, Paula Knorr, Phoebe English, Richard Malone, Richard Quinn and Wales Bonner, will also continue to receive funding and support.
Alongside mentorships and continued business development, menswear recipients will each receive funding to show their collections during London Fashion Week Men’s in June, while the womenswear winners will be awarded funds to present during London Fashion Week in September.
A special ‘ones to watch’ mention was awarded to Bianca Saunders and Pariah Farzaneh, who will be allocated an exhibition space at The Store Studio designer showrooms at London Fashion Week, alongside the rest of the NEWGEN awardees.
Recent NEWGEN graduates include Cottweiler, Marta Jakubowski, Molly Goddard and Sadie Williams. Since its inception in 1993, the initiative has been a launch pad for young talents, with esteemed alumni including Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Erdem, JW Anderson, Mary Katrantzou, Roksanda Ilincic and Simone Rocha.
BFC/British Vogue Designer Fashion Fund
On Wednesday night, the BFC further announced London-based designer Molly Goddard as the winner of the BFC/British Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, an annual prize established in 2008 that sees a grant of £200,000 and a 12-month mentorship. Known for her exaggerated volumes and girlish dresses, Goddard launched her namesake label in 2014 and has since become a firm favourite at London Fashion Week.
Goddard competed against David Koma, Huishan Zhang, Le Kilt, Marques’Almeida and Rejina Pyo for the prestigious prize. Previous Fashion Fund winners include Christopher Kane, Erdem, Jonathan Saunders, Mary Katrantzou, Mother of Pearl, Nicholas Kirkwood, Palmer/Harding, Peter Pilotto and Sophia Webster.
This year’s respected judging panel included Edward Enninful, Vogue UK's editor in chief; Caroline Rush, chief executive officer of the British Fashion Council; and Sarah Mower, renowned fashion critic. Also on the judging panel was Erdem Moralioglu of ready-to-wear label Erdem, supermodel Jourdan Dunn, Topshop chief Paul Price, designer Helen David, Burberry’s chief marketing officer, Sarah Manley and founder of Rodial, Maria Hatzistefanis.