The British Fashion Council has just announced the five up-and-coming London-based brands who will compete for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund (the UK's version of our CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund). Osman Yousefzada, Amy Powney of Mother of Pearl, Emilia Wickstead, Sophia Webster and Anna Laub of Prism are up for a cash prize of £200,000 (about $285,000) and a year's worth of mentorship from the fund's judging panel of industry experts, including Alexandra Shulman from British Vogue, Caroline Rush from the BFC, Sarah Manley from Burberry, Lisa Armstrong from The Daily Telegraph, executive representatives from such retailers as Browns, Topshop and Farfetch, as well as BFC ambassador Samantha Cameron. Last year, the panel brought on Naomi Campbell as a special guest judge and this year, Victoria Beckham will meet the designers and help with the panel's final decision, which will be announced on March 22, just after fashion month.
According to Rush, these designers "all have the potential to become Britain’s next generation of global fashion brands." Considering past winners include Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou and Nicholas Kirkwood, we don't doubt it.
Each designer presented Rush and her fellow judges with the best pieces from their spring 2016 collections. In addition to assessing each designer's original and creative vision, the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund aims to reward a designer who has a strong business model and clear plans on how to use the fashion fund money to grow their label.
Like the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund also now has a docuseries. You can keep up with the judging process on YouTube and Vogue.co.uk. In the meantime, click through our gallery below to get to the know the designers. Whether or not they win, they're names you should know.