One of the biggest concerns amongst fashion designers is funding. It’s not easy to be a new designer in any country, and often before one has access to funding you have to prove yourself – without funding, which is a bit of a Catch-22 situation. Once you get to a certain level, though, it’s also very tough to progress because it takes a lot more funding and expertise to build a brand and establish an actual sustainable business. To help address this the British Fashion Council and Vogue have launched the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, a legacy project for the BFC’s 25th anniversary celebrations, and it a big funding award, worth £200,000.00!
The Fund is supported by Arcadia Group, Burberry, Clothing at Tesco, Debenhams, Harrods, House of Fraser, HSBC Commercial Bank, Jaeger / Aquascutum, Marks & Spencer, Paul Smith, TONI & GUY, Vogue and Westfield Shopping Towns.
Today the very first funding was awarded to Canadian designer Erdem Moralioglu. Erdem grew up in Montreal with a British mother and Turkish father. He left Canada to do his MA at the Royal College of Art, where graduated in 2003. He then went to New York to work with Diane von Furstenberg and in 2005 he returned to the UK to launch his ready-to-wear label.
Erdem has been not only been awarded £200,000 but also access to director level mentors. This may be his biggest award but not it’s not his first (or his last) – he won the Swarovski British Fashion Council Fashion Enterprise Award in 2007, BFC’s Fashion Forward in 2008, and in 2009, and Elle Magazine awarded Erdem the “Fashion Future Award”.
The aim of The Fund is to assist talented British designers with the potential for commercial growth to start making the transition from a developing creative business to a global fashion brand.
Erdem Moralioglu commented “I am thrilled to be the winner of the BFC Vogue Fashion Fund. It is an honour. The prize will help us to take our business to the next level. It is so integral for us to be showing in London and the support of the BFC and Vogue will allow us to grow our business internationally. It is such exciting time for us.”
Erdem is now sold in more than 50 premier department and speciality stores, such as Barney’s New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Harvey Nichols, Dover St. Market, Colette, Browns, Ikram, Beams, Theresa, Banner, Luisa via Roma and net-a-porter.com.