The British Fashion Council (BFC) and British GQ this week announced Christopher Shannon as the winner of the inaugural BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund, supported by Vertu, the world’s leading provider of luxury mobile phones.
BFC, GQ and Vertu launched the fund to provide a British based designer with a £200,000 support package, including a £150,000 grant to be spent on infrastructure to take them to the next stage of building their business into a global brand, and a £50,000 bespoke, high-level mentoring support programme.
Christopher Raeburn, E. Tautz, Lou Dalton and Richard Nicoll were short-listed for this year’s prize and participated in a mentoring programme where, as lead partner, Vertu played a key role and gave access to its team of business leaders in technology, global distribution, legal and finance. Other industry experts provided guidance on topics including strategic planning, branding, leadership, commercial retail, e-tail and wholesale and digital innovation.
Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council, commented that she was “delighted to award this year’s fund to Christopher Shannon. The label has a strong identity, a clear business plan and has been creating a buzz at London Collections: Men since its inception.”
Vertu Chief Executive Officer, Massimiliano Pogliani, agreed. “As a judge and mentor, I have seen first-hand the meticulous craftsmanship and uncompromising dedication these designers apply to creating such beautiful and inspired collections. It has been a privilege for Vertu to mentor the five shortlisted designers. What we were looking for was the willingness to always go the extra mile, the ambition to develop the business and the brand at the same time, and the enthusiasm to keep on learning. With Christopher Shannon, this was clear from the start. He demonstrated the vision and focus to build what I believe could be a global presence. Christopher has all the potential to build a very solid and distinctive brand and I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of him.” Watch this space!