Bethany Williams has been crowned the winner of the 2021 British Fashion Council/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.
The menswear designer, who launched her label in 2017, has quickly built up a reputation for her use of graphic prints and sustainable fabrics.
Williams was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design in 2019, and on Wednesday, it was announced that she has also scooped the prestigious BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.
Regarding the rising fashion star’s win, British Vogue editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful, praised her talent and fashion-forward designs.
“Bethany is an extraordinary talent who brings a depth to her process that is nothing short of inspirational,” he commented. “On top of her substantial gifts as a designer, she has rethought the way her collections are made, working with women who are homeless or in prison, among others, using her business to bring training and support. She really is a marvel.”
Established in 2008, the organisers of the Fund aim to discover new talent and accelerate the growth of a designer’s business over a 12-month period through mentoring and the awarding of a cash prize of $278,000 (£200,000).
Williams beat out fellow competitors Alighieri, ASAI, Chopova Lowena, Completedworks, E.L.V, Denim, Halpern, Kwaidan Editions, Olubiyi Thomas, Richard Malone, and Supriya Lele.
Chaired by Enninful, the judging committee was made up of representatives from businesses who support the Fund and industry experts including BFC chief executive Caroline Rush.
“All shortlisted designers deserved the prize, but the judging panel was particularly impressed by Bethany’s exceptional talent for using recycled deadstock and organic materials made in the U.K. and her ways of collaborating with communities and charities, aiming to shape the industry towards thinking more ethically. I cannot wait to see her business grow even more,” she added.
Previous winners of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund include Christopher Kane, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto, Sophia Webster, Molly Goddard, and WALES BONNER.
– Cover Media