• The Fashion Awards 2016 raised a total of £700,000
  • £300,000 donated to the BFC Education Foundation to support young British talent through scholarships; the single largest donation since the BFC Education Foundation was created
  • £400,000 goes to support NEWGEN, Business Support and the BFC Colleges Council
  • In light of increased university fees, and withdrawal of Government education grants, The Fashion Awards aims to create sustainable funding to support British fashion talent & education

On Monday 5th December, the British Fashion Council (BFC) hosted The Fashion Awards 2016 in partnership with Swarovski at the Royal Albert Hall. The Fashion Awards was the inaugural fundraiser gala whose beneficiary is the BFC Education Foundation, which enables young talent to access world-class education. The event hosted 4000 individuals including designers, brands, business leaders, editors, creatives, investors and media. The gala was also open to the general public and 260 students from across the UK were invited to the ceremony as guests of the BFC, making it the largest Fashion Awards to date.

The evening celebrated exceptional British and international talent for their contributions to the fashion industry and the wider global fashion community. Through The Fashion Awards, the BFC and its partner Swarovski, demonstrate their commitment to supporting young talent as well as the growth of fashion businesses. The BFC is delighted that today it can guarantee a £300,000 donation to the Education Foundation, meaning that 25 candidate scholarships can be created. This provides opportunities for talented students who have been accepted into courses across the UK at varying levels.

The BFC and Swarovski are both committed to ensuring young talent from any background has access to the best education available. Many of the designers amongst the highlights of London’s women’s and men’s schedules would be unable to study today given the current level of fees. The funds raised directly for the BFC Education Foundation aim to form a lifeline for future talent. The Fashion Awards’ aim is to create a sustainable source of funding for British fashion education and talent.

Dame Natalie Massenet, Chairman British Fashion Council commented: “As exciting and glamorous as the awards event was, the evening’s main purpose was as a fundraiser and it was hugely successful. The goal, to raise £10m over the next 10 years for the BFC Education Foundation. We are delighted however, that the international fashion industry came together in London in support of our British talent pipeline which ultimately forms a crucial part of the entire industry. We couldn’t have raised this money if we didn’t produce this event with the support of Swarovski.”

Caroline Rush CBE, CEO British Fashion Council said: “We are delighted that the event has enabled us to make the largest single donation to the BFC Education Foundation since it was first established in 1997. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the charity’s trustees Sarah Mower MBE, Meribeth Parker and Laura Strain for their work and thank those who currently support the charity The Anne Tyrrell Foundation, Charlotte Dellal, Coach, Eiesha Bharti Pasricha, Erdem Moralioglu, Marks & Spencer, Mulberry and Natalie Massenet. At this moment in time, sending a strong and clear message that London is a city that is commercially and culturally open, and that our global industry can come together and collaborate is incredibly powerful.”

The BFC offers financial, promotional and educational support to designers at various stages of their education and businesses through its designer support initiatives. These include the Colleges Council, an initiative that brings together 30 British colleges and is the main vehicle to offer BA and MA scholarships through the charity; BFC Fashion Film; Rock Vault, its fine jewellery initiative; Headonism, a millinery initiative; and its menswear and womenswear talent identification, business support and showcasing schemes NEWGEN, the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund and Future British sponsored by Boden. The BFC’s charities include the BFC Fashion Trust, the Fashion Arts Foundation and the beneficiary of Fashion Awards donations, The BFC Education Foundation. The BFC has also created the Designer Fact-File, an online educational portal for designers and industry professionals.

Swarovski has a long history of collaboration with the leading lights of fashion, going back to when its founder, Daniel Swarovski, worked with the early haute couture designers in Paris. In the 1990s, Nadja Swarovski revived this relationship with the world’s leading fashion designers, while recognising the importance of nurturing emerging talent to encourage cutting-edge creativity in the industry. Over the past 17 years, Swarovski has supported more than 150 young designers through the Swarovski Collective, and it introduced the Swarovski Collective Prize in 2015. Other initiatives include supporting scholarships and an annual design project at both Central Saint Martins and Parsons School of Design; 15 years partnering with the CFDAs; more than 10 years partnering with the ANDAM prize for emerging talent; a new partnership with Vogue Italia for the Vogue Talents project supporting emerging designers; support for the Hyères Festival for young graduates; the Vogue Salon project for young designers in Berlin and the Vogue Foundation Gala to raise funds for the Palais Galliera museum’s contemporary collection.

The BFC and Swarovski would like to thank everyone who took part in The Fashion Awards 2016, and those who have made donations. Donations to the Education Foundation can be made online via fashionawards.com/donate.