Greek-born, London-based fashion designer Mary Katrantzou has won this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, the British Fashion Council announced on Wednesday.
The distinction, which is accompanied by a 200,000 pound sterling grant, is billed as a 12-month mentoring support program aimed at aiding designers take their business to the next level. The fund was established in 2008 and past winners include Peter Pilotto, Nicholas Kirkwood, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane and Erdem.
According to Alexandra Shulman, British Vogue editor and chair of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, Katrantzou was “incredibly deserving of this year’s award. It wasn an extremely diverse shortlist but ultimately we all agreed that Mary has not only created a strong and hugely appealing identity for her work but that she has put in place measures that, along with the support of this prize, should ensure an exciting and successful next stage of her career.”
Joining Kantrantzou on the shortlist this year were fellow designers Emilia Wickstead, Holly Fulton, Michael van der Ham, Mother of Pearl, Osman and Sophia Webster who presented their collections and five year business plans to the Fund judging committee comprising industry professionals.
Born in Athens in 1983, Katrantzou studied architecture at Rhode Island School of Design before focusing on fashion and textile design at London’s Central Saint Martins.
In 2010 the designer earned the Swiss Textiles Award and its 100,000-euro cash prize. Besides working on her own label, Katrantzou has collaborated with a series of brands and retailers including Britain’s Topshop, French accessories brand Longchamp and more recently sportswear giant Adidas.