Molly Goddard first won over Rihanna with her voluminous, Cinderella-like tulle confections, and now she's also earned the approval of the British Fashion Council: On Wednesday evening, the London-based designer was named the winner of the 2018 BFC/British Vogue Designer Fashion Fund prize.
The award, now in its eighth year, is designed to give winners the commercial support needed to further globalize their brands and comes with cash prize of 200,000 pounds and a year-long industry mentorship. Goddard beat out five other finalists: Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida of Marques Almeida, Huishan Zhang, Rejina Pyo, Samantha McCoach of Le Kilt and David Koma. To compete for the award, all finalists had to present their latest collections and business plans in front of a judging planel, which this year included Edward Enninful, Caroline Rush, Erdem Moralioglu, Gemma Metheringham, Helen David, Jourdan Dunn, Maria Hatzistefanis, Sarah Manley, Sarah Mower, Paul Price, Topshop and Xia Ding.
Before Goddard met her match in tulle heaven — Rihanna — the 29-year-old designer studied knitwear at Central Saint Martins. She officially launched her label of girlish frocks in 2014, and in no time her pretty pastel-colored creations had become the cool girls antidote to a conventional princess dress. The British fashion scene quickly took notice and she scooped up the British Emerging Talent award at the 2016 Fashion Awards and became a LVMH Prize finalist in 2017.
"Molly Goddard is an original, she has a singular vision that has propelled her label to an international level," said Enninful, editor in chief of British Vogue and chairman of the fund committee in a press statement. "She is the definition of talent and what Britain does best in our creative industry."