CFDA and BFC leaders join forces to call for industry ‘reset’

Members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and British Fashion Council (BFC) are joining forces to call for an industry-wide “reset”.The coronavirus pandemic has hit the fashion business hard, with retailers forced to close stores te…

Members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and British Fashion Council (BFC) are joining forces to call for an industry-wide “reset”.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the fashion business hard, with retailers forced to close stores temporarily and designers having to postpone collections due to manufacturing restrictions.

In light of the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, officials from the CFDA, led by chairman Tom Ford, and the BFC, overseen by chief executive Caroline Rush, have been in “close communication” and are sharing feedback about the ways the industry will need to “rethink and reset” in the coming months.

Among the initiatives set out in a statement issued on Wednesday was a call for the fashion system to change “at every level”.

“We encourage our brands, designers and retailers, who are used to fashion’s fast, unforgiving pace, to slow down. For a long time, there have been too many deliveries and too much merchandise generated. With existing inventory stacking up, designers and retailers must also look at the collections cycle and be very strategic about their products and how and when they intend to sell them,” they outlined, before encouraging designers to focus on delivering only two collections per year. “We firmly believe this can provide our talents with the time they need to reconnect to the creativity and craft that makes our field so unique in the first place.”

Elsewhere, the CFDA and BFC leaders urged designers and company executives to re-evaluate delivery schedules, harness sustainable fabrics and techniques wherever possible, and utilise virtual presentations to show collections to buyers and journalists.

“The need to align as a global industry during these times has become more apparent. We will continue to work side-by-side, while each city will develop its own local initiatives. Fashion is a business of creativity and new ideas and difficult times are also ones for innovation. We will work to our industry’s benefit as we reimagine and create, with our members and partners, a successful future,” the statement concluded.

© Cover Media

Roksanda Ilincic and Richard Quinn among recipients of BFC Foundation Fashion Fund

Roksanda Ilincic and Richard Quinn are among the first recipients of the British Fashion Council’s Foundation Fashion Fund.In response to the escalating Covid-19 pandemic, BFC officials announced in late March that they would be bringing all of their c…

Roksanda Ilincic and Richard Quinn are among the first recipients of the British Fashion Council’s Foundation Fashion Fund.

In response to the escalating Covid-19 pandemic, BFC officials announced in late March that they would be bringing all of their charitable initiatives under one umbrella and making $1.2 million (£1 million) of emergency funds available to British designer businesses and some students.

And on Wednesday, BFC chief executive Caroline Rush confirmed that the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund would be offering financial support to 37 designers and brands, including Illincic, Quinn, Richard Malone, Rejina Pyo, Bethany Williams, Craig Green, David Koma, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, and Halpern.

“Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen an astonishing amount of applications come through from British designer businesses all over the country, asking for help to survive the crisis. The need for support is immense,” said Rush. “Our hope is to re-open the fund for future rounds, to help as many businesses as possible, and ensure the future growth and success of the British fashion industry.”

Fund recipients will receive a maximum of $61,000 (£50,000) and will also be given access to business support and mentoring.

The BFC Foundation Fashion Fund is utilising funds that would have previously been awarded to up-and-coming designers, such as those involved in the annual BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund competition.

But as the judging process for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund had already completed for this year, executives decided that the cash prize and mentoring award would be split across each of the six shortlisted brands for the very first time.

© Cover Media

Milan Fashion Week going digital amid coronavirus crisis

Milan Fashion Week is to be fully digital for the first time.Italy continues to be one of the nations worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with 91,000 active cases and approximately 30,000 deaths. In light of the crisis and lockdown to prevent t…

Milan Fashion Week is to be fully digital for the first time.

Italy continues to be one of the nations worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with 91,000 active cases and approximately 30,000 deaths.

In light of the crisis and lockdown to prevent the further spread of the Covid-19 virus, executives at the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana have announced that they will be presenting the first digital fashion week from 14-17 July 2020.

The online calendar will promote the spring/summer 2021 men’s collections and the spring/summer 2021 men’s and women’s pre-collections.

“The initiative is in line with a raft of concrete responses to the recently changed scenario in the fashion industry,” a spokesperson commented. “Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana will be proposing a digital platform featuring photographic and video content, interviews, and backstages of creative moments and alternative and unique viewpoints, all organised in a calendar with slots for each brand, the aim being to create a rich and varied (blueprint for) use to all operators in the industry.”

In addition, organisers hope to introduce webinars, livestreams of interviews with important industry figures, and live performances.

The news comes shortly after British Fashion Council (BFC) executives confirmed plans to merge womenswear and menswear into one gender-neutral platform for London Fashion Week during the next year, with online events to kick off from 12 June.

Meanwhile, Giorgio Armani has indicated that he plans to resume presenting fashion shows in Milan in September.

In an interview with WWD, the designer insisted he will be unveiling his men’s and women’s collections later in the year, though admitted the “format is still being defined”.

© Cover Media

London Fashion Week going digital amid coronavirus crisis

London Fashion Week is to be fully digital and gender-neutral for the first time.The United Kingdom continues to be one of the nations worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with almost 107,900 active cases and approximately 16,500 deaths. In ligh…

London Fashion Week is to be fully digital and gender-neutral for the first time.

The United Kingdom continues to be one of the nations worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with almost 107,900 active cases and approximately 16,500 deaths.

In light of the crisis and lockdown to prevent the further spread of Covid-19, executives at the British Fashion Council (BFC) announced on Monday that they will be merging womenswear and menswear into one gender-neutral platform for London Fashion Week during the next 12 months.

“By creating a cultural fashion week platform, we are adapting digital innovation to best fit our needs today and something to build on as a global showcase for the future,” Caroline Rush, BFC chief executive officer, commented. “Designers will be able to share their stories, and for those that have them, their collections, with a wider global community; we hope that as well as personal perspectives on this difficult time, there will be inspiration in bucketloads. It is what British fashion is known for.”

The online event will run from 12 June through the time period of the former London Fashion Week: Men’s.

And Rush is confident the new digital platform will give a voice to British fashion businesses and creatives during these extraordinary times.

“Many of our businesses have always embraced London Fashion Week as a platform for not just fashion but for its influence on society, identity and culture,” she added. “The current pandemic is leading us all to reflect more poignantly on the society we live in and how we want to live our lives and build businesses when we get through this. The other side of this crisis, we hope will be about sustainability, creativity, and product that you value, respect, cherish.”

© Cover Media

Giorgio Armani ‘frustrated’ by his accessories sales

Giorgio Armani is “frustrated” that accessories aren’t a bigger part of his fashion empire.The Italian icon launched his company in 1975 and has since gone on to build a reputation for stylish suits and classic red carpet gowns, with his celebrity clie…

Giorgio Armani is “frustrated” that accessories aren’t a bigger part of his fashion empire.

The Italian icon launched his company in 1975 and has since gone on to build a reputation for stylish suits and classic red carpet gowns, with his celebrity clients including Lady Gaga, Cate Blanchett, Zendaya, and Anne Hathaway.

While Armani offers handbags, footwear, and jewellery in addition to his couture and ready-to-wear lines, in an interview for Vogue Italia, he explained that he has always had issues with his accessories categories.

“We have done hundreds and millions of accessories over the years, but nobody talks about them and I am frustrated,” he told the fashion publication. “My challenge is not to be able to sell accessories… Everybody tells me that the fortune of all the other brands is that they sell mostly accessories. I sell very few – so I can always sell more. I do fashion, sports clothes, young people’s clothes – but accessories are not quite there yet.”

Elsewhere in the chat, Armani reflected on receiving the Outstanding Achievement Award at The Fashion Awards 2019 on Monday night.

But even though he was thrilled to take home the prestigious prize, he also found it slightly humorous that officials at the British Fashion Council (BFC) have taken so long to recognise his contribution to the industry.

“Maybe it’s because I don’t do eccentric fashion, English people have only now understood my evolution,” the 85-year-old mused.

“I know that the old style of English fashion for men is over – it changed, the world has changed – no one smokes pipes anymore.”

Previous winners of the Outstanding Achievement Award include Miuccia Prada, Ralph Lauren, Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour, Terry and Tricia Jones, and Manolo Blahnik, among others.

© Cover Media

British Fashion Council launching new award for designers

Officials at the British Fashion Council (BFC) have launched a new award for designers.In the run-up to The Fashion Awards 2019, set to take place on 2 December at the Royal Albert Hall in London, council members have announced that they are introducin…

Officials at the British Fashion Council (BFC) have launched a new award for designers.

In the run-up to The Fashion Awards 2019, set to take place on 2 December at the Royal Albert Hall in London, council members have announced that they are introducing the Designers’ Designer Award. The award coincides with the establishment of the BFC Membership Programme and has been created to spotlight the British designer businesses that have made a global impact in the past year through creativity in product design, campaigns, and collaborations.

Those nominated for the 2019 prize are Christopher Kane for Christopher Kane, Jonathan Anderson for JW Anderson, Margaret Howell for Margaret Howell, Roksanda Ilincic for Roksanda, and Simone Rocha for Simone Rocha.

“The creativity shown over the past year by the winner of this award is considered to have moved the needle in increasing their positive brand perception in 2019,” a BFC representative commented.

Meanwhile, the BFC Membership Programme has been founded to support the BFC’s mission to encourage collaboration and inclusivity, inviting designers to come together in support of the fashion ecosystem.

When it comes to the other awards, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Jacquemus, Loewe, and Prada have been nominated in the Brand of the Year category, while Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, Bottega Veneta’s Daniel Lee, JW Anderson and Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson, Dior Men’s Kim Jones, and Prada’s Miuccia Prada are all in the running for Designer of the Year.

Top models Adesuwa Aighewi, Adut Akech, Adwoa Aboah, Kaia Gerber, and Winnie Harlow are competing for the Model of the Year prize, while it was previously announced that Giorgio Armani will be bestowed with the Outstanding Achievement Award and Naomi Campbell will take home the Fashion Icon Award.

© Cover Media

Sam McKnight to be honoured at The Fashion Awards 2019

Sam McKnight is to be honoured with the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at The Fashion Awards 2019.Officials at the British Fashion Council (BFC) announced on Monday that the hairstylist would be presented with the prestigious prize during the …

Sam McKnight is to be honoured with the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at The Fashion Awards 2019.

Officials at the British Fashion Council (BFC) announced on Monday that the hairstylist would be presented with the prestigious prize during the annual event held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 2 December.

“We are thrilled to present the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator to the legendary Sam McKnight and acknowledge him for his incredible contribution to the global fashion industry,” commented Caroline Rush, BFC chief executive officer. “Sam is one of the most important image-makers of our time, hugely respected within the fashion community and a source of inspiration for many generations to come. We look forward to celebrating with him and his friends in London in December.”

Born in Scotland, McKnight moved to London in the early ’70s and quickly secured a position at leading salon Molton Brown. He soon began building his name in fashion circles and landed his first editorial shoot with British Vogue in 1977. The 64-year-old has since gone on to build a long-standing relationship with editors at the magazine, having styled models and celebrities for over 100 covers. Considered to be one of the first session stylists, McKnight has worked with executives at brands including Balmain, Burberry, Chanel, Fendi, Tom Ford, and Vivienne Westwood over the course of his career, and is also known for collaborating with celebrities such as the late Princess Diana, Cate Blanchett, Emilia Clarke, Kate Moss, and Uma Thurman.

Previous winners of the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator include photography duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, make-up artist Pat McGrath, and photographer Nick Knight.

© Cover Media

Tracee Ellis Ross to host The Fashion Awards 2019

Tracee Ellis Ross has been named as the host of The Fashion Awards 2019.The annual prizegiving is set to take place on 2 December at the Royal Albert Hall in London, with a number of designers, business and industry leaders, retailers, creatives, model…

Tracee Ellis Ross has been named as the host of The Fashion Awards 2019.

The annual prizegiving is set to take place on 2 December at the Royal Albert Hall in London, with a number of designers, business and industry leaders, retailers, creatives, models and celebrities from across the globe to be at the event.

Now, executives at the British Fashion Council (BFC) have announced that Black-ish actress and sartorial star Tracee will serve as the host of the bash.

“Born from a legacy of style, Ross is known for her sartorial flair and taking fashion risks with ease and grace,” they said in a statement. “Whether gracing the Emmys red carpet in couture, thanking her shopping habit for her oft-documented street style, or inviting her more than nine million followers on social media to make fun of her dad sneakers, Ross uses fashion as a mean of self-expression and communication. She not only loves fashion; she has fun with it.”

When it comes to the awards, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Jacquemus, Loewe, and Prada have been nominated in the Brand of the Year category, while Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, Bottega Veneta’s Daniel Lee, JW Anderson and Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson, Dior Men’s Kim Jones, and Prada’s Miuccia Prada are all in the running for Designer of the Year.

Top models Adesuwa Aighewi, Adut Akech, Adwoa Aboah, Kaia Gerber, and Winnie Harlow are competing for the Model of the Year prize, while it was previously announced that Giorgio Armani will be bestowed with the Outstanding Achievement Award and Naomi Campbell will take home the Fashion Icon Award.

The Fashion Awards is the main fundraiser for the BFC’s charitable and talent support work.

© Cover Media

Adwoa Aboah and David Beckham launch fashion apprenticeship

Adwoa Aboah and David Beckham have unveiled the British Fashion Council’s new apprenticeship scheme.The 27-year-old model, who is the BFC’s Ambassador for Positive Fashion, and the soccer star, who serves as the BFC Ambassadorial President, launched th…

Adwoa Aboah and David Beckham have unveiled the British Fashion Council’s new apprenticeship scheme.

The 27-year-old model, who is the BFC’s Ambassador for Positive Fashion, and the soccer star, who serves as the BFC Ambassadorial President, launched the Fashion Studio Apprenticeship during a visit at Prendergast Vale School in Lewisham, south London on Monday.

“I am proud to be part of an industry that has so many facets to it,” said Aboah of the initiative. “The Fashion Studio Apprenticeship is proof that not every role in fashion needs an academic degree and that our industry is one that is open to everyone, no matter their background. It is fantastic to be able to support this initiative as part of my role as BFC Ambassador for Positive Fashion.”

Formulated with a group of fashion employers and BFC officials, apprentices will begin by spending time in a studio to learn how a collection is created. They will then spend six months as an assistant, working with a team that creates a range, before undertaking a further 12 months in a specialised area of the business, choosing between product development and production, sales and operations, or fashion marketing and communication.

At the end of the apprenticeship, participants will be required to undertake a work-based project and a practical test.

And Beckham, 44, added that he wanted to encourage students to consider arts education and the creative industries when making decisions about their future.

“Fashion is an industry that should be open to everyone – no matter what their background is or where they are from. I hope that this new apprenticeship programme from the BFC will give even more kids the chance to thrive and be creative. We have such an amazing fashion industry in this country, it’s something we should really be proud of and protect,” he commented.

© Cover Media

Giorgio Armani to be honoured with top prize at The Fashion Awards 2019

Giorgio Armani is to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award at The Fashion Awards 2019.The Italian fashion icon launched his company in 1975 and has since gone on to build a reputation for stylish suits and classic red carpet gowns, with his celebri…

Giorgio Armani is to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award at The Fashion Awards 2019.

The Italian fashion icon launched his company in 1975 and has since gone on to build a reputation for stylish suits and classic red carpet gowns, with his celebrity clients including Lady Gaga, Cate Blanchett, Zendaya, and Anne Hathaway.

Now, officials at the British Fashion Council (BFC) have announced that Armani is to be presented with the prestigious prize at an upcoming ceremony in recognition of his contribution to the industry, creativity, vision of timeless style, and attention to detail.

“We are thrilled to be honouring Giorgio Armani with the Outstanding Achievement Award,” said Caroline Rush, BFC chief executive, in a statement. “With more than four decades in the business, Mr. Armani’s contribution to the fashion industry is indeed outstanding. Renowned for his timeless vision of style and the brands’ ability to stay relevant, he has led the way where other brands have followed.”

In addition to his namesake ready-to-wear label, the Armani Group includes the Emporio Armani and A/X Armani Exchange collections.

The Outstanding Achievement Award celebrates the creative contribution of an individual to the fashion industry, who has constantly shaped and reshaped the business through their innovation and creativity.

Previous winners of the Outstanding Achievement Award include Miuccia Prada, Ralph Lauren, Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour, Terry and Tricia Jones, and Manolo Blahnik, among others.

The Fashion Awards 2019 will be held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 2 December.

© Cover Media