The BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund was launched in September 2013 and is supported by Vertu.
The Fund provides a British-based menswear designer with financial support of £150,000 and access to high-level business mentoring and professional services.
The BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund is intended to provide support for businesses that have been trading for a minimum of three years, have both UK and international stockists and have graduated through the existing BFC talent support schemes or are at a similar stage of development.
"We thought it was about time that the menswear industry had its own fund, in order to try and help some of our emerging brands grow and move forward financially. London is not only the home of menswear, but there are now more exciting menswear designers in Britain than ever before." - Dylan Jones OBE, Editor-in-Chief of GQ Magazine and Chair of London Collections: Men
Each year, a judging panel of industry experts selects a long list from the applicants to attend an interview after which up to eight businesses will be shortlisted, based on their contribution to the reputation of the British fashion industry creatively, commercial achievements to date and their three-year plan which should include infrastructure and employment opportunities to support growth.
The shortlisted designers take part in a 4 month mentoring programme that provides them with access to mentors from global fashion brands, opportunities to meet with media, advice on range planning and help with dissecting their respective three year plans to maximise the opportunity for global growth.
After the mentoring period, the shortlisted designers re-present their three-year business plans and showcase their most recent collection to a panel of judges. The winning designer must demonstrate a clear vision for their business and how The Fund will contribute to their growth with a focus on creating a global brand.