The British Fashion Council (BFC) has announced the winners of the Fashion Forward sponsorship who will showcase their creations at the inaugural London Collections: Men from 15-17 June, 2012.
The current year's winners include Christopher Shannon, E. Tautz, J.W. Anderson and James Long.
"It's very rewarding to be one of the first menswear designers to receive the Fashion Forward Award, it shows how far Menswear in the city has come. There is now an incredible network of support which means designers can finally turn collections and ideas into viable businesses, I hope it all continues to grow and develop," said Christopher Shannon after being named the winner.
It is the first time Fashion Forward sponsorship will be dedicated to a group of menswear designers. The three new winners will join current recipient James Long, who was the first menswear designer to receive sponsorship last season. Fashion Forward winners receive access to business support provided by the BFC as well as a cash prize to assist in showing their spring/summer 2013 collections.
"This is an important prize, and the previous winners list reads like a roll call of London's brightest fashion talent. Menswear is tough and the competition has bags of cash so support like this makes a big difference. It means a better collection and a better show, and that is all we are trying to achieve," said Patrick Grant Creative Director for E. Tautz.
Fashion Forward, supported by the Mayor of London, was established 6 years ago to provide funding to talented emerging British designer businesses for showcasing support and to develop their businesses in London. To be eligible, designers will either have progressed through Newgen or Newgen men, or be at a similar stage in their business.
Fashion Forward is a key BFC initiative and has been instrumental in developing and sustaining the growth of emerging design talent.
"With the upcoming launch of the inaugural London Collections: Men, we felt the time was right to increase showcasing and business support to this incredibly talented group of young menswear designers, ensuring we support them through the next stage of their businesses. We're delighted to be awarding Fashion Forward sponsorship to four of London's menswear designers to show this June." Caroline Rush, CEO, British Fashion Council said in a statement.