Oh, Boden. How do we love thee? We can’t count the ways. From cosy knits to cult shoes, the British brand has been keeping us (and our wardrobes) happy for nearly 25 years and now, almost in celebration of its quarter of a century anniversary, the label has launched a new initiative in collaboration with the British Fashion Council.
Let us introduce you to Future British- a scheme that will support new British designers across all fields (that’s womenswear, menswear and accessories), following in the footsteps of the likes of NEWGEN and Fashion East.
SEE: Who Won This Year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Prize
So, what’s on offer? Well, the lucky designers selected will be given financial support as well as mentoring in all aspects of their business over a 12-month period, receiving guidance from Boden’s top dogs, including Chairman Johnnie Boden, CEO Julian Granville and Global Brand Director Penny Herriman.
And it’s Chairman and Founder Johnnie Boden who’s particularly keen to give back to the industry that’s served him so well, passing on his expertise to the new generation. “I’m thrilled to announce the launch of our collaboration with the BFC to support start-up designer brands in Britain,” he says. “The aim of Future British is to give these individuals the opportunity to succeed as the next big clothing brand.”
The first ever winners of Future British have also been revealed and, if they’re not yet on your radar, you’ll want to get to know them pronto. The first is Caitlin Charles-Jones, a 26-year old knitwear aficionado who’s already got several awards in her trophy cabinet, including the Visionary Knitwear Award from Graduate Fashion Week 2012. Having worked for Missoni (naturally), Caitlin has now established her own studio back in England (the Cotswolds, to be precise) and her SS16 collection is inspired by aerial views of the UK.
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Another winner is Samantha McCoach, the lady behind the new cool girl brand Le Kilt. Hailing from a family with kilt-making heritage, the 28-year old founded the brand in 2014, fusing traditional kilt-making methods with a contemporary edge.
And last, but by no means least is Camilla Elphick, a 26-year old shoe designer who trained at the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York, as well as London College of Fashion, and who has worked under shoe heroes Nicholas Kirkwood, Sophia Webster and Charlotte Olympia. Imagine the aesthetic of those three megastars coming together and you’ve got an idea of Camilla’s playful and completely irresistible designs. “Good shoes make a lasting first impression,” says Camilla. We couldn’t agree more.
Say hello to the stars of tomorrow.