A year after the establishment of its full time management team, the British Fashion Council (BFC) has restructured to create greater clarity and definition of roles for its joint chief executive officers (CEOs). Caroline Rush, CEO, will lead innovation, marketing and communications and special projects. Simon Ward will move from joint CEO to take on the newly formed role of chief operating officer (COO) and will lead financial and operational controls of the organisation.
Chris Inman, Honorary Treasurer of the British Fashion Council since 2006, was charged with implementing a financial infrastructure that would enable strict financial control to support current and future growth. He has given considerable personal time and expertise, working on a pro bono basis, to deliver this through a tough economic climate. Chris now feels, with a full time management team in place, that he is able to take a step back from day to day management, remaining in the role of treasurer and trusted advisor as part of the executive board. The British Fashion Council thanks Chris for the key role he has played, and will continue to play, in nurturing the growth and development of the organisation over the past four years and through its 25th Anniversary.
As part of successful 25th Anniversary celebrations in 2009, the BFC moved London Fashion Week and its offices to Somerset House, strengthened its commitment to supporting British fashion talent by creating a series of innovative legacy programmes to nurture, support and showcase British design talent. These programmes have been built around the internationally recognised talent identification and support scheme NEWGEN sponsored by Topshop, and more recently Fashion Forward supported by Coutts & Co and LONDON show ROOMS, to create a pathway for designer support and international showcasing opportunities. Its legacy programmes include the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, the BFC/Harper’s Bazaar Fashion Arts Foundation and the BFC/ELLE Talent Launch Pad.
As an organisation that has a more streamlined and focused approach to management and a commitment to improving governance, the BFC has established the first Executive Board which is made up of chairman, Harold Tillman, ex CEO, and chair of Development Committee Hilary Riva, BFC Treasurer, Chris Inman, Caroline Rush and Simon Ward.
Sarah Mower was appointed Ambassador for Emerging Talent in 2009, chairing the NEWGEN selection committee, hosting brunches to launch the showroom in Paris and New York as well as regular advice on international promotion of emerging talents and a mentor to designer businesses. Anna Orsini was appointed Strategic Consultant to the BFC earlier this year to provide expert advice across the business.
Harold Tillman commented “With the increase in initiative activity, the growth of London Fashion Week, and the digital and global outreach programmes, more clarity and definition at the top was required as Chris Inman takes a step back from financial management.
“Simon’s organisational and management skills are second to none. As COO he will take over the day to day finance function to ensure increased controls and reporting are implemented as the organisation continues to develop.
“Caroline has built on her highly developed marketing and communications skills to create some of the most innovative initiatives that the BFC has ever seen and as CEO, she will continue to develop this expertise. I am delighted that such a highly talented team now runs the BFC.”