The British Fashion Council Foundation (BFC) has appointed two new co-chairs to help meet their fundraising target to support British creative talent. One of them is Lebanese philanthropist and co-founder of Fashion Trust Arabia (FTA), Tania Fares. Alongside Narmina Marandi, Fares is tasked to bring together an International Advisory Committee to support the work of the charity and the development of its patronage program. By aiming to raise GBP £2,000,000 a year, the charity is working to support designers who have been drastically hit financially by the pandemic and having to deal with the effects of Brexit.
“I am thrilled to be taking on this new role with the British Fashion Council, alongside my work with Fashion Trust Arabia,” Fares shares with Vogue Arabia. “If the past three years, with FTA, have taught me anything is that now more than ever, young designers need our support and I’m truly excited to also be able to do this with the BFC.”
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Founded in 2019, the BFC has continuously proved to be a driving force in supporting British talent. In the first two years, the charity received a total of £3,200,000 worth of donations. The charity supports the growth of the British fashion industry by solely focusing on education, grant-giving, and business mentoring. In 2020 the BFC Foundation allocated a total of £1,500,000 to 67 British designers businesses and scholars, specifically to aid them amidst challenging circumstances.
“Over the past year and half, we have seen the industry pull together to support one another in a very difficult period,” adds Fares. “We noticed that when the industry works together, there is a much stronger opportunity for change. With that same mindset, the BFC are bringing together highly connected individuals from different parts of the world to support British Creative Talent and build a network that not only contributes financially to the charity, but also unlocks opportunities for the talents in various markets.”
“I hope and believe, that when the BFC announces the recipients of its award, by the end of May, there will be even more support, especially once everyone sees how talented the designers are,” she concludes.
Fares and Marandi are working with other Advisory Committee members, including Aisle Trudel, Dylan Jones, Edward Enninful, Elizabeth Saltzman, Imran Amed, Ingie Chalhoub, Lauren Santo Domingo, Jefferson Hack, and Yana Peel, to secure 40 founder patrons. Thirty-one out of the 40 have already been confirmed. These include Matchesfashion co-founder Ruth Chapman, Daphne Guinness, Cara Delevingne Foundation, Mona Operandi Chief Brand Officer Lauren Santo Domingo, Dubai-based retail and entrepreneur Ingie Chalhoub, Chanel’s global head of arts and culture Yana Peel, and more.