Pret-a-Reporter

BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund Shortlist Unveiled

Courtesy of British Fashion Council/ Instagram
From left: Osman Yousefzada of Osman; Amy Powney of Mother of Pearl; Emilia Wickstead; Sophia Webster; and Anna Laub of Prism

Five designers — Emilia Wickstead and Sophia Webster included — will compete for the grand prize.

On Tuesday, the British Fashion Council unveiled the five London-based labels that have been selected to compete in the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund (similar to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in the U.S.).

The nominees selected this year include Emilia Wickstead, Mother of Pearl's Amy Powney, Osman's Osman Yousefzada, Prism's Anna Laub and Sophia Webster. They'll compete for a prize of £200,000 (roughly $284,000) and a year of guidance from industry insiders.

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British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, BFC chief executive Caroline Rush, Burberry chief marking officer Sarah Manley, designer Victoria Beckham, Topshop managing director Mary Homer and The Daily Telegraph fashion editor Lisa Armstrong are among the judges to have chosen this year's candidates.

"This is an inspiring shortlist because of its diversity. It's a great representation of the spread of British fashion designers, and all the contenders have huge strengths to their creative visions," said Shulman.

Added Rush: "These brands represent the best of London’s fashion talent as well as showing impressive business acumen. These designers all have the potential to become Britain’s next generation of global fashion brands."

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There's no doubt these labels are gaining traction, especially on the Hollywood scene. Saoirse Ronan and Elizabeth Banks have both worn Emilia Wickstead gowns on the red carpet, while Osman pieces have been seen on the likes of Miranda Kerr, Elisabeth Moss and Anne Hathaway.

Previous winners of the fund include Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto, Nicholas Kirkwood, Erdem and Christopher Kane.

Keep up with this year's fund, including the application and judging process, on YouTube and Vogue.co.uk. The winner will be announced on March 22.

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