London Fashion Week kicks off today, and with so much top talent coming out of the city — Christopher Kane, Meadham Kirchhoff, J.W. Anderson and Mary Katrantzou, to name a few — it’s safe to say that London is still having a “moment.” But this begs the question: What can the city do to keep this momentum going and to keep the spotlight on its flourishing fashion community? Plus, how does it keep its top talents from moving away to another fashion capital, like Paris or New York?
— In June, the BFC will hold a single day, invitation-only forum in London, which the Council hopes will form the beginnings of an industry-wide think tank — with business growth and investment as the main topics — that will be open to British fashion designers, CEOs, entrepreneurs and politicians.
—In addition, the BFC will provide post tutorials and information on its website — specifically regarding tricky areas for burgeoning businesses like investments — and will provide mentoring by taking young designers under its wing and supporting them as they build their brands from the ground up. This is in addition to its annual BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, which offers a £200,000 prize and mentoring each year.
—In September, the BFC plans to introduce a B.A. scholarship program for British design students.
—The BFC will continue its prestigious Fashion Trust, which pairs designers with entrepreneurs who offer their time and money to help them grow their businesses, with the aim of becoming a global brand. Previous Fashion Trust participants include Mary Katrantzou and Nicholas Kirkwood.
—Designers themselves are finding new ways to create commercial, viable businesses — for example, Peter Pilotto’s line for Target — but the BFC aims to connect designers with a close circle of local investors to keep the city’s design talent firmly planted in London.