Officially titled the "Great! British Fashion Reception", the event was designed to highlight and promote British design talent to international markets and buyers, including the Asian market where there is a strong trend for British designers and manufacturers. Present at the event was a top level mix of the world’s top fashion journalists and buyers alongside some of the most exciting emerging designers and the more established British design favourites.
In 2008 the BFC launched LONDON show ROOMS to take emerging talent to Paris to present their collections in a showroom environment. In addition to Paris, LONDON show ROOMS now moves to different markets including LA, New York and Hong Kong, offering a great opportunity to the designers that take part.
Sir Peter Ricketts, the British Ambassador to France, hosted the event and spoke of his pleasure at being able to support such a fantastic, talented and diverse industry worth approximately £20.9 billion to the UK economy.
"London and the UK have always been renowned for originality and it’s fascinating to see how this talent translates into highly successful fashion businesses. The worldwide reputation enjoyed by its fashion colleges also helps to attract the brightest and best young talent to the UK. I am so pleased to be able to play my part in this success story and in encouraging the growing recognition being given to British design excellence here in France and further afield."
The Woolmark Company places great importance on developing and nurturing design talent around the world and the recently announced International Woolmark Prize winner, introduced by BFC Chair Natalie Massenet, is a great example of this.
London, during fashion week, was chosen as the city to host the first re-launched award won in the '50s by Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent. "The prize is our commitment to supporting the future of the fashion industry," said Stuart McCullough, The Woolmark Company CEO.
The Woolmark Company works in collaboration with a wide range of international designers, both emerging and iconic brands/ambassadors including Richard Nicoll, Jonathan Saunders, Mark Fast, Patrick Grant, Richard James and Vivienne Westwood in the UK, and recently announced partnerships with Narciso Rodriguez and Alexander Wang in the US.