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Meet the finalists for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund


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The British Fashion Council (BFC) and Vogue have revealed their shortlist for the 2017 Designer Fashion Fund, a £200,000 prize for designers who have the potential to become a global fashion brand. Previous winners include Christopher Kane, Nicholas Kirkwood, and Sophia Webster.

The Fund was first launched in 2008 as part of the BFC’s 25th anniversary celebrations, and has since continued to grow in prestige. Due to its past success, this year there will be up to three winners - a reflection of the high standards and “increasing pool of deserving talent”.

Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman said: "This year’s shortlist is an excellent demonstration of the breadth of fashion talent in this country. Any one of them will be a worthy recipient of funding that is specifically designed to help their business in a very targeted way so that it can grow into a greater role on the global fashion stage."

British Fashion Council CEO Caroline Rush CBE added “We are so fortunate to have an amazing pool of talent in London and this year’s shortlist is no exception. All the designers have demonstrated incredible talent and strong business skills. I believe they all have the potential to become the UK’s next global brands and the new format of the Fund will help them achieve that goal."

The designers shortlisted are as follows:

Huishan Zhang

Huishan Zhang is a Chinese born, Dior-trained designer who currently lives in London. A graduate from prestigious fashion school Central Saint Martins, he initially worked with leather goods before training with haute couture at Dior.

Launching his own collection in 2011, Zhang’s designs have since been worn by celebrities such as Sienna Miller and Emma Watson.

Mother of Pearl

London-based label Mother of Pearl describes itself as “serious fashion, not to be worn too seriously.” Creative Director Amy Powney is inspired by strong women from the North of England, the place in which she grew up, alongside 90s sportswear trends. Mother of Pearl have collections on sale with department store retailers Far Fetch and Net-A-Porter, amongst others.


@jlo in OSMAN resort 17 shirt and self tie.. #jlo #jenniferlopez #thisisosman

A photo posted by OSMAN (@osmanstudio) on

Osman, the label by London based designer Osman Yousefzada, debuted in 2007 to critical acclaim, earning him a subsequent Little Black Dress collection with Mango, the Spanish clothing retailer. Osman focuses on strong, sculptured designs to flatter a woman's figure, earning him celebrity fans including Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez.


white poet shirt // resort 17 #theshirtboys #palmerharding

A photo posted by palmerharding (@palmerharding) on

Launched in 2012 by fellow Central Saint Martins graduates Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding, palmer//harding specialises in the production of innovative shirts, earning them a reputation as the go-to brand in high fashion photo shoots, featuring in Vogue, Elle and the Wall Street Journal.


Shop Further discounts on AW16 at

A photo posted by Shrimps (@shrimps__) on

Shrimps, launched in 2013 by London-based designer Hannah Weiland, specialised in faux fur and outerwear production, before branching out to include accessories in her product list. Taking inspiration from modern art, Shrimps uses colour and texture to promote a fun and playful spirit in her work. Her designs are stocked in Selfridges and online at Net-A-Porter.

Sophie Hulme 

Sophie Hulme is a Kingston University graduate from London, whose designs earned her the Student of the Year award in 2007 and the Emerging Talent Award for accessories at the British Fashion Awards in 2012. Her signature style has both masculine and feminine influences, but focuses on a clean and tailored silhouette with an emphasis on hardware.


#toogoodunisexouterwear #collection006 #comingsoon

A photo posted by Toogood (@t_o_o_g_o_o_d) on

Toogood is the birthchild of sisters Faye and Erica Toogood, whose collections focus on the creation of hard working and practical clothing, taking inspiration from traditional workwear. Sewn inside every item of clothing is an identification document, with a space for every owner to write their name, from the designers and manufacturers to the end customer, in order to encourage a sense of movement and connection in the supply chain. 

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