Fashion Fringe, one of the leading platforms supporting emerging fashion talent in the UK, today announced that Christopher Bailey, Burberry Chief Creative Officer will sit as Chair for the award for the next two years.
The announcement coincides with 2012 applications for the award, opening on Monday 12th March via the Fashion Fringe website, fashionfringe.co.uk.
Christopher Bailey, who completed his design studies in the UK, has a long-standing history of supporting and mentoring emerging British design talent, regularly undertaking additional work to support a cross section of charitable organisations and initiatives. As Chair of Fashion Fringe, Christopher will help to launch the careers of undiscovered British design talents. The role will see him solely judge, select and mentor three Finalists and the Winner of the 2012 award.
Christopher Bailey said: “Fashion Fringe provides a wonderful platform to develop emerging creative talent and I am very proud to be partnering with them to unearth the next generation of exciting designers. The support, mentoring and guidance I received at the early stages of my career gave me the belief and self-confidence to explore the many wonderful opportunities that I’ve had.”
Fashion Fringe, the annual project set up by Colin McDowell in 2003 in conjunction with IMG Fashion, is committed to enabling emerging talented designers to launch, promote and sustain their label and business in London. The platform is unique in helping up-and-coming fashion talent learn how to run a fashion label and turn it into a successful business; predominantly via its well-established, and much-emulated mentoring programme involving the cream of the fashion industry as advisers.
Burberry has a history of supporting British design and the arts, and has regularly worked together for many years with Fashion Fringe to cultivate emerging creative talent in a number of ways.
On Christopher Bailey’s appointment as Chair, Colin McDowell, Founder and Creative Director of Fashion Fringe, said: “I have waited some time before asking Christopher to be our Chair as I wanted the run up to our tenth anniversary year (2013) to be very special. And I know that an association with Christopher and Burberry will make it just that and provide a perfect path to carry us through from one decade to the next. He is young and Burberry has a long and trusted tradition, and that pleases me enormously as youth and longevity are entirely what motivate and drive Fashion Fringe. I believe that Christopher and Burberry will offer great inspiration to our candidates in Fashion Fringe for the next two years whilst encouraging them to boldly step out and create their own vision and originality.”
Peter Levy, SVP and Managing Director, IMG Fashion Worldwide said: “We couldn’t be happier that Christopher Bailey is joining us at Fashion Fringe, as he is the perfect mentor for the next generation of designers. Young talent needs support to grow their respective visions into creative and commercial success and that is why IMG Fashion will continue to nurture them in close collaboration with the key figures of today’s fashion industry.”
Christopher Bailey’s contribution to the Fashion Fringe comes within a significant year for British creative industries, as the world’s spotlight shifts towards London during the 2012 Olympic Games and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, making the 2012 award a leading event for the promotion and sustainable development of young fashion design talent in London during this seminal year for British creativity.
Fashion Fringe has already helped launch many successful names into the fashion industry, with seventeen previous Winners and Finalists still running businesses today, notably including Basso & Brooke (2004), Erdem (2005), Corrie Nielsen (2010) and, most recently, design duo FYODOR GOLAN, who showcased their first collection in February during London Fashion Week to much critical acclaim.
The designer Christopher Bailey selects as winner in September this year will gain instant acknowledgement from the industry, as well as a two year development package. This will include a mixture of financial support, business advice, mentoring and an equipped studio at Somerset House, to set up and sustain their business