Jonathan Saunders, with models wearing looks from his spring 2012 collection, before his presentation to the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund judges in December.
Print- and color-loving Jonathan Saunders has sewn up the 2012 British Fashion Council/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, the across-the-pond version of Anna Wintour and co.’s wildly successful initiative to boost young design talent. Now in its third year, the BFC/Vogue award provides the winner with £200,000 (at current exchange, just a few dollars over the stateside $300,000 purse) and access to industry mentors. Also shortlisted for the award were Marios Schwab, Mary Katrantzou, Meadham Kirchhoff (designed by Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff), Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto, Richard Nicoll, Roksanda Ilincic, and Zoe Jordan.
Saunders, who also made the 2011 shortlist, was selected as the winner based on the strength of his critically acclaimed catwalk and pre-collections over the past few seasons, his business plan, and a presentation to a judging committee chaired by Vogue UK editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman. So what’s next for Saunders’ burgeoning label? “We have four womenswear and two menswear collections a year—so we’ll be expanding these collections and launching accessories,” says the Glasgow-born designer, who counts Rei Kawakubo, Miuccia Prada, Le Corbusier, and Charlotte Perriand among his design heroes. Meanwhile, his fall 2012 collection hits the runway on Sunday, February 19, during London Fashion Week.