British Fashion Council

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

British Fashion Council
Formation6 January 1983; 41 years ago (1983-01-06)
PurposePromote British fashion in the UK and internationally
Headquarters33 Broadwick St, London W1F 0DQ
LeaderCaroline Rush
WebsiteBritish Fashion Council
Manish Arora designs at London Fashion Week 2007
Gareth Pugh fashion at London Fashion Week 2006

The British Fashion Council (BFC) is a non-profit organization that aims to enable sustainable growth of British fashion in the global fashion economy.[1] Founded in 1983, the BFC organizes biannual womenswear and menswear showcases, London Fashion Week (LFW) and London Fashion Week Men's (LFWM) to promote "the best of British design" to an international audience.

Leadership and activities[edit]

Based in London, the British Fashion Council (BFC) is currently chaired by David Pemsel. Pemsel was appointed in September 2022, succeeding Stephanie Phair who held the position for four and a half years from May 2018.[2][3] Since 2009, Caroline Rush CBE has been the organization's chief executive officer.[4] Previous Chairs of the BFC have included Natalie Massenet, Edward Rayne, Nicholas Coleridge CBE, Harold Tillman, and Sir Stuart Rose.[5]

In May 2018, BFC appointed former England football team captain, David Beckham, as its new Ambassadorial President.[6]

2020 saw a number of organizational changes within the BFC, including four new appointments to its board of directors on 4 September.[7] The newly appointed directors; Jamie Gill, June Sarpong, Scott Morrison and Sian Westerman joined the remaining board membership of Stephanie Phair (chairperson), Dylan Jones, Caroline Rush, Laura Strain, and David Pemsel.[8]

The Council created a new committee entitled the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee on 16 September 2020.[9][10]

In November 2020, the BFC presented Indian actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas with the new title of ambassador for Positive Change.[11] The new BFC role was created with the aim to use fashion as a ‘source for good’, to raise awareness of best practices within the industry including affirming principles that support inclusivity and positive ethics.[12]

Joining other technology companies and fashion brands, Rakuten added its name to the list of BFC Patrons in 2021.[13]

Development of the organization[edit]

LFW Carousel

The British Fashion Council (BFC) was established in 1983 as a non-profit limited company.[14] Prior to the establishment of a single body to promote the interests of the British fashion industry, there were a number of organizations that existed to promote different interests within British fashion. These included:


The BFC's primary event is London Fashion Week, a bi-annual London-based fashion show held routinely each February and September. The trade show typically showcases the work of over 250 international designers and engages a worldwide audience. The fashion week is organized by the BFC alongside other organizations.[19]

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BFC announced that its 2020 February trade show would be held as a digital-only event. All event attractions, from the launch of the week on Friday 14 February 2020, were presented to a global audience online.[20][21] The event production crews, designers, models, and teams were assisted by Westminster Council with rapid Covid testing to ensure the success and safety of the event.[22] Princess Anne followed in the Queen’s footsteps to present a special award at the event.[23] The Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design was awarded to Rosh Mahtani who was commended for the craftsmanship of her jewellery.[24]

During the February 2020 Fashion Week, the BFC announced its scheme to enable one young designer to show their collection before a virtual audience. The new initiative was made possible in collaboration with MTV.[25]

Following its February virtual showcase event,[26] the BFC announced that it was to merge the Men’s Fashion Week into a new and single, "gender-neutral" event.[27][28]

Coronavirus Foundation Fashion Fund[edit]

In response to the global pandemic restrictions and its move to showcasing fashion virtually, the BFC began to advocate increased support for fashion freelancers experiencing hardship and business disruption. The British government were encouraged to put further policies in place to protect those being negatively affected.[29]

Later in March 2020, the council launched its first coronavirus relief fund, committed to supporting those in the industry.[30] The crisis relief fund aims to raise £50 million for struggling designers.[31]

In May 2020, the Foundation Fashion Fund announced its first recipients of the £1,000,000 emergency fund. The fund was split between 37 different UK recipients.[32]

The Black in Fashion Council[edit]

In response to the global reaction to the George Floyd tragedy and the Black Lives Matter protests, the British Fashion Council chief called upon the industry to take further action against racism.[33]

The fashion industry was called to account for its longstanding cultural appropriation and lack of diversity, which led to a partnership of 38 organizations generating the Black in Fashion Council, including the British Fashion Council.[34][35]

As part of its individual response to the Black Lives Matter movement, the British Fashion Council launched its own project celebrating Black British culture and fashion. The project included a variety of programmed events, concluding with an exhibition showcasing the work in the summer of 2022.[36]

Awards, nominations and prizes[edit]

  • 16 November 2016 – The British Fashion council awarded Gucci’s New Creative Director, Alessandro Michele, the International Designer Award.[37]
  • 2 September 2020 – As part of its £500,000 grant scheme, the British Fashion Council distributed grants to 30 British labels, including Emilia Wickstead, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Rokh and Charles Jeffrey Loverboy.[38]
  • 5 October 2020 – The University of Salford and the Central Saint Martins Royal College of Art has announced recipients of the British Fashion Council MA Scholarship.  The recipients of the scholarships were selected from these institutions based on financial need and aptitude.[39]
  • 15 October 2020 – The British Fashion Council announced 2020 Fashion Awards would be held as a virtual event on 3 December. As part of the ceremony, 20 winners were celebrated for their resilience during the pandemic, and their determination to see change within the industry.[40] Awards for Community were presented by Priyanka Chopra Jonas, awards for People presented by Lewis Hamilton, awards for Environment presented by Aja Barber and Maisie Williams, and awards for Creativity were presented by Rosalía.[41]
  • 18 February 2021 – The BFC announced the shortlist of designers in line for receiving the prestigious BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.[42][43] From the shortlisted 11, Bethany Williams was named as the winner.[44]
  • 16 February 2022 – A shortlist of 8 designers was announced for the 2022 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.[45] The 2022 winner was Richard Quinn.[46]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "British Fashion Council - About". Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  2. ^ Zhang, Tianwei (22 September 2022). "British Fashion Council Welcomes David Pemsel as New Chair". WWD. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  3. ^ "British Fashion Council". Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  4. ^ "Caroline Rush CBE". British Fashion Council. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  5. ^ "British Fashion Council". Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  6. ^ "British Fashion Council". Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  7. ^ Edmonds, Lizzie (17 September 2020). "British Fashion Council board member sets out diversity designs". Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  8. ^ Wightman-Stone, Danielle (14 September 2020). "BFC announces executive board appointments". FashionUnited. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  9. ^ May, Naomi (16 September 2020). "British Fashion Council launches diversity and inclusion committee". Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  10. ^ Wightman-Stone, Danielle (17 September 2020). "BFC announces Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee". FashionUnited. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  11. ^ Conti, Samantha (16 November 2020). "Priyanka Chopra Jonas Becomes British Fashion Council Ambassador". WWD. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  12. ^ Desk, iGlobal. "Priyanka Chopra Jonas to use fashion as a force for good in new British Fashion Council role". iGlobal News. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  13. ^ "Rakuten Becomes a British Fashion Council Patron". 19 February 2021. Archived from the original on 19 February 2021. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  14. ^ Sterlacci Purvin, Francesca; Arbuckle, Joanne (2008). Historical Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. Plymouth: Scarecrow Press. pp. 26, 75. ISBN 9780810854543. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  15. ^ Waddell, Gavin (2004). How Fashion Works: Couture, Ready-to-Wear and Mass Production. Oxford: Blackwell Science. pp. 175–7. ISBN 9780632057528. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  16. ^ Sterlacci Purvin, Francesca; Arbuckle, Joanne (2008). Historical Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. Plymouth: Scarecrow Press. pp. 26, 75. ISBN 9780810854543. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  17. ^ a b c O'Byrne, Robert; Worsley-Taylor, Annette (2009). Style City: How London Became a Fashion Capital. London: Frances Lincoln Ltd. ISBN 9780711228955.
  18. ^ "London Fashion Week". Flur Magazine. February 2013. Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  19. ^ "London Fashion Week". Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  20. ^ Wightman-Stone, Danielle (13 January 2021). "London Fashion Week to go ahead with no live audiences". FashionUnited. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  21. ^ Gumuchian, Hanna Rantala, Marie-Louise (19 February 2021). "Digital London Fashion Week kicks off". Reuters. Retrieved 6 July 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  22. ^ "Testing support for London Fashion Week | Westminster City Council". Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  23. ^ "Princess Anne makes debut at London Fashion Week - find out why". HELLO!. 18 February 2020. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  24. ^ "Princess Anne closes London fashion week with royal award". The Guardian. 18 February 2020. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  25. ^ May, Naomi (17 February 2020). "BFC and MTV launch scheme to nurture fashion designers of the future". Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  26. ^ "London Fashion Week went digital and, amazingly, it worked". British GQ. 15 June 2020. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  27. ^ Theodosi, Natalie (21 April 2020). "British Fashion Council Merges Men's, Women's Showcases". WWD. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  28. ^ Jones, Dylan (15 May 2020). "Gender-neutral and digital: a new era for London Fashion Week". Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  29. ^ Theodosi, Natalie (23 March 2020). "British Fashion Council Asks U.K. Government to Support Businesses Further". WWD. Archived from the original on 11 April 2020. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  30. ^ Colón, Ana. "British Fashion Council Launches Relief Fund for Businesses Affected by the Coronavirus". Fashionista. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  31. ^ "British Fashion Council Aims to Raise £50 Million For Struggling Designers". The Business of Fashion. 13 May 2020. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  32. ^ "The BFC Reveals the First Recipients of the BFC Foundation Fund". AnOther. 13 May 2020. Archived from the original on 21 May 2020. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  33. ^ Bryer, Tania (19 June 2020). "British Fashion Council chief calls on the industry to act on their comments against racism". CNBC. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  34. ^ "This Is How The Black In Fashion Council Intends To Hold Companies Accountable". British Vogue. 25 June 2020. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  35. ^ "The Black In Fashion Council Launches With 38 Partners". British Vogue. 4 August 2020. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  36. ^ Klerk, Amy de (28 October 2020). "The BFC is launching a new project that celebrates Black British fashion and culture". Harper's BAZAAR. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  37. ^ "British Fashion Council to Award Gucci's New Creative Director". Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  38. ^ Theodosi, Natalie (22 September 2020). "British Fashion Council Names New Set of Grant Recipients". WWD. Archived from the original on 23 September 2020. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  39. ^ Zhang, Tianwei (5 October 2020). "The British Fashion Council Announces MA Scholarship Recipients". WWD. Archived from the original on 5 October 2020. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  40. ^ Theodosi, Natalie (15 October 2020). "British Fashion Council Takes 2020 Fashion Awards Digital". WWD. Archived from the original on 28 October 2020. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  41. ^ "British Fashion Council - The Fashion Awards 2020 Honourees Announced". Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  42. ^ "British Fashion Council/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund 2021 Shortlist Announced". Executive Bulletin. 18 February 2021. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  43. ^ "British Fashion Council Names BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund Nominees". Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  44. ^ "British Fashion Council". Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  45. ^ "British Fashion Council - BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund 2022 Shortlist Announced!". Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  46. ^ "British Fashion Council". Retrieved 4 January 2023.

External links[edit]