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Harold Tillman with his CBE medal, awarded by the Princess Royal at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London.

The British Fashion Council (BFC) has announced the names of nine designers who will present their collections to the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund 2012.

The Fund was launched by Harold Tillman CBE, the Chairman of the BFC, in order to support talented British designers and position them for commercial growth and success. The primary goal is to assist the designers in the developing of a creative business and building it in to an international fashion brand.

This year, the shortlisted designers are Jonathan Saunders, Marios Schwab, Mary Katrantzou, Meadham Kirchhoff, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto, Richard Nicoll, Roksanda Ilincic and Zoe Jordan. The judging panel will include sponsored representatives by the Fashion Fund, chaired by Alexandra Shulman, the Editor of British Vogue.

The winner will receive a bespoke, high-level mentoring support programme over a twelve-month period in addition to a cash prize of £200,000. Apart from this, all the eight runners-up will also be allocated a mentor through the Fund.

"The calibre of this year's BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund shortlist reflects the exceptional talent that exists within the British Fashion industry today. Each designer has enhanced the capital's profile as a centre of fashion innovation, and we are proud to be able to offer the winning designer the financial support and mentoring needed to help their brand grow internationally," Tillman commented.