The British Fashion Council announced on the final day of London Fashion Week spring/summer 2019 that it was extending its partnership with JD.com, China’s largest retailer with over 300 million customers, who will continue to support the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund into 2019.
JD.com came on as sponsors of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund in September 2017 to help the selected designers navigate the Chinese market. The extension of the partnership will be effective from January 2019 and will benefit the 2019 Fund winners.
To launch this partnership JD.com supported the September 2018 shows of Huishan Zhang, shortlisted in 2017 for the Fund, Xuzhi Chen and Xiao Li. Last year, it also provided sponsorship to 2015 fund winner Mary Katrantzou, helping her reach the Chinese market with the opening of an exclusive online store on JD.com’s dedicated luxury boutique platform Toplife.
Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council said in a statement: "We are delighted that JD.com are extending their support of the British Fashion Council Vogue Designer Fashion fund into 2019. This collaboration takes us into the second year of our valued partnership with JD.com which allows our British designer businesses to engage with over 300 million Chinese consumers, enabling them the vital opportunity of increasing their global footprint in China.”
Xia Ding, president of JD International Fashion added: “We are delighted to partner with the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund to help support the world’s best up-and-coming designers. 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.”
Established in 2008, the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund aims to discover new talent and accelerate the development of the next leading British brand. In 2018, Molly Goddard won the 200,000 pound fund and received a full mentoring programme through the BFC’s business support team, including access to funders and industry experts.
Previous winners include Christopher Kane, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Mother of Pearl, Nicholas Kirkwood, palmer//harding, Peter Pilotto and Sophia Webster.
Applications for the 2019 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund will open late 2018.
Image: courtesy of BFC by Darren Gerrish