Fashion week starts this week and as we've all come to expect, the big musical chairs announcements are coming in thick and fast too. Last week we heard that Sally Singer had resigned from T magazine and Eva Chen from Teen Vogue and now you add Harold Tilman to that list. Yesterday the Business of Fashion confirmed that he has stepped down from his role as the chairman of the British Fashion Council.
Natalie Massenet has been appointed as his replacement and she seems like the perfect choice. Tilman has been instrumental in bringing in all of those key press and buyers that used to skip the London shows and Massenet, what with her all of her experience at Net-A-Porter, will no doubt help make London Fashion Week bring in more financially. But don't worry the role is only honorary so won't affect her position on the board of Net-A-Porter and while the standard commitment is three years, she has reportedly only signed up for one.
Last night the British Fashion Council hosted an event to announce the nominees for this year's British Fashion Awards and on the whole, there isn't many surprises.
Fash Pack favourite Stella McCartney lead the pack with a nod for the designer of the year award along with nominations for the red carpet award and designer brand too. The model category is probably the most predictable category with regulars like Jourdan Dunn,Cara Delevigne and David Gandy all receieving nominations.
'2012 has been a momenous yar and seen a nationwide celebration of British talent,' British Fashion Council chairman Harold Tilman said at The Savoy last night. 'The British Fashion Awards recognise and celebrate the exceptional individuals and brands who've defined out fashion industry over the past year and we're incredibly proud to announce these nominations who represent a cross section of British fashion talent.'
This week WWD confirmed that Joanna Sykes will leave her position as the creative director of Aquascutum at the end of the month.
The news doesn't come as a surprise. While Sykes continues to get strong reviews for her collections, to say that things have been rocky at the brand would be a understatement. Despite having a huge cash injection by Harold Tilman and Belinda Earl in 2009 and the team working tirelessly to turn things around, their financial problems haven't disappeared. It was only a matter of time, then, before Sykes decided to go.
'It is very early days for us as a new management team, but we will shortly announced structural changes that will focus the business and ensure the longevity of this incredible British heritage brand,' Tim Daly, Aquascutum's new chief executive director, told WWD last month before Sykes' departure was announced. According to Daly, the decision was mutually agreed.
Last month Aquascutum announced that they had filed for administration but it looks like things aren't as bad as they had thought. Today WWD reports that Hong Kong-based company YGM have bought the failing company.
The company already own the intellectual property rights for the company and controls all of its Asian business but the new deal will mean that it was also take over the British section of the company too giving the company full control over the brand's distribution and manufacture. That doesn't mean that the brand is out of trying times. After all, the company continue to fail despite Harold Tilman and Belinda Earl investing an estimated £30 million in the company when they came on board in 2009 so it's going to need a miracle to help turn things around.
Yesterday was a really sad day as Aquascutum confirmed that are going into administration. In a statement the board explained that 'the senior management team have worked tirelessly to develop and build the Aquascutum brand and offer.'
Despite their efforts, the news didn't come as a surprise. For a long time reports have been surfacing confirming that the brand's financial problems were dire. Things looked like they were possibly on the up back in 2009 when British Fashion Council chairman Harold Tilman and Belinda Earl bought the company and brought on designer Joanna Sykes to serve as creative director but sadly the company continued to make significant losses. 'The challenging conditions in the UK, however, has unfortunately meant that the team have been unable to develop and build the Aquascutum brand' the statement said.
It's already that time again - the nominees for this year's British Fashion Awards are in and they're not too surprising. Despite being appointed as creative director of Alexander McQueen only 16 months ago, Sarah Burton has quickly proved herself as the perfect candidate to take over the house after McQueen's passing. Her collections for the brand continue to be met with critical acclaim and you can't forget the stellar job she did at designing the most famous dress this year - Kate Middleton's wedding dress. Her efforts have rightly been recognised by the BFC as she is in the running for the Designer of The Year Award, which was presented to Phoebe Philo for Celine last year.
Equally unsurprising is J.W. Anderson's two nominations this year in the category for Emerging Talent Menswear and Emerging Talent Ready-To-Wear. For Model of The Year, Georgia May Jagger is going head-to-head with model veterans more than twice her age as both Kristen McMenamy, 46, and Stella Tennant, 40, are both also nominated.
"This year's nominees demonstrate the breadth and creativity London has to offer," Harold Tilman said this morning at the announcement of the list. "The fashion brands and designers that are based here set the trends across the globe."
Yesterday saw the second opening of the British Designers Collective pop up shop in Bicester Village. The event marked the second time the British Fashion Council and the discount retail outlet have collaborated to bring the best of Britain's new designers under one roof. A/W2010 pieces were made available at the event for a select group of press and industry before the carefully selected pieces will be made available for the wider public today.
The collaboration is all in aid of pushing awareness of British brands to an international market. In the welcome speech, a representative from the shopping village explained that their loyal customers are usually from the Middle East and Russia, making the partnership the perfect idea to propel the designers brands globally. 21 designers have participated this year including Jonathan Saunders, Todd Lynn, Felder Felder, Marios Schwab and Fash Pack favourite, Holly Fulton. Accessories were also available from Georgina Goodman, Jane Carr, Fiona Paxton and Lara Bohnic.
Today it was announced that Anya Hindmarch has been appointed as a non-executive director of the British Fashion Council, succeeding Hilary Riva, who recently stepped fown from the position after working with the BFC for five years.
"I am looking forward to getting involved and being able to contribute to such an innovative and prestigious body at such an exciting time for British fashion," Hindmarch said on the announcement of the news.
This morning Harold Tilman, chairman of the British Fashion Council, said: "Anya will make a great addition to our team. She brings with her huge experience from both the design and retail sector and will be invaluable as we move towards our future plans."
Hindmarch will join Caroline Rush, Chris Inman and Harold Tilman on the board.
An eclectic party gathered to celebrate the Mulberry X Apple collaboration, which saw the infmaous British luxury leather goods company creating a range of exquisite laptop bags exclusively for Apple, making your Mac as fashionable as your Bayswater. Models Olivia Inge, Poppy Delevigne and Leah Weller partied with designers Henry Holland and Charlotte Dellal, whilst presenter of the moment Jameela Jamil mingled with the likes of Matt Horne, James Corden and James Brown. Also amongst the party-goers were Harold Tilman, head of the British Fashion Council, actress Natalie Press, and even our very own Cilla Black. View the collection at www.mulberry.com
Good news for talented up and coming designers: TheBritish Fashion Council and the fashion bible that is Vogue have come up with a new project, which will provide one lucky fashion designer with £200,000 in addition to mentoring and support to help launch an international career. The fund, aptly named The BFC Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, was launched earlier this week and mirrors that of the one stateside, Vogue/CFDA fund, the brainchild of none other than Anna Wintour.
Unlike other funding projects currently offered by the BFC, including the NewGen and Fashion Forward schemes, this simply requires designers to have international stockists, strong media profile and an established business. The fund will be presided over by Harold Tilman, who will chair the fund alongside British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, who will chair the inaugural judging panel.
Speaking about the project, Mr Tilman said, "...Designer talent is the lifeblood of the fashion industry. Now is the time for the industry to directly support this talent and sign up to the Fund...There are some strong designer businesses based here in the UK...This fund aims to help our most talented designers to become the global fashion brands of the future."
For those of you who think or know you have what it takes, you have until Dec. 2 to apply, and the finalists will be shortlisted by April 2010.