David Koma, Holly Fulton, and Michael van der Ham have been named the recipients to this year’s Fashion Forward initiative. The scheme, which is sponsored by eBay and supported by the Mayor of London, helps emerging designers grow their brands into successful businesses. Each designer will receive a cash prize and business support from the British Fashion Council (BFC).
“David, Holly and Michael are three very worthy recipients of the 2013 Fashion Forward scheme. We have seen them grow through the NEWGEN scheme and are pleased to see their businesses progress to the next level of Fashion Forward sponsorship. We look forward to seeing their collections at London Fashion Week in February,” said BFC chief executive, Caroline Rush.
This year’s finalists were selected by a panel of industry professionals including Rush, Melanie Smallwood, Head of eBay Fashion Brands, fashion journalist Sarah Mower, Caroline Issa of Tank Magazine, Harvey Nichols’ Paula Reed, and Oscar Pinto-Hervia of Hervia Bazaar.
“The Fashion Forward initiative is about spotting great emerging talent that has commercial viability. Holly, David and Michael all have this and I look forward to seeing their businesses develop throughout 2013,” said Smallwood.
Georgian-born David Koma studied at the esteemed Central Saint Martins where he earned both his BA and MA. Celebrities including Cheryl Cole and Rihanna are fans of his sculptural dresses. Scottish designer Holly Fulton’s graphic prints draws from a variety of inspirations including Art Deco and pop art. Dutch designer Michael van der Ham is known for his mismatching prints and textural innovation.
The scheme was established in 2009 to provide funding for emerging design talent. Previous winners include Christopher Kane, Peter Pilotto, and Jonathan Saunders.