The British Fashion council has revealed the shortlist for the 2014 Fashion Fund in partnership with Vogue. Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto, Zoe Jordan and Emilia Wickstead all in the running for the £200,000 prize as well as invaluable high-level mentorship.
Now in its fifth year, the Fashion Fund, chaired by Alexandra Fulman, was set up to give the chance for established UK designers to excel further and ultimately turn their design house into a global brand.
But when every designer on the shortlist is already both a critical and commercial success, the Fashion Fund often feels a bit like an exercise in the British Fashion Industry congratulating its own greatness. After all, it is unlikely that the BFC and Vogue are going to invest such a large sum into a brand they isn't already a dead cert.
All cynicism aside, it takes a great deal of time and ultimately money to turn a Katrantzou or Pilotto from a fashion insiders favourite to a household name with the likes of Brit houses such as Burberry. There is nothing more exciting than the potential of seeing one of these truly inspirational design houses raise their profile to new heady heights in the way past winners Erdem, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders and Nicholas Kirkwood have done previously. Although, sadly for us, it almost always means a heady rise in prices as well.