Wonderland fave Craig Green’s design credentials – notably, his deft marriage of the functional with the conceptual – have steadily accrued critical acclaim. Last night, it was his business acumen that was brought to the fore, as he was revealed as the winner of the third BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund during a ceremony held at Boundary Restaurant in Shoreditch, London.
The award, supported by Vertu, was established by the British Fashion Council and GQ Magazine in 2013; it comprises a £150,000 grant and a twelve-month business mentoring programme. Before today’s announcement, shortlisted designers – this year, Astrid Andersen, Christopher Raeburn, Lou Dalton and Sibling alongside the victorious Mr Green – were mentored on topics such as strategic planning, branding, commercial retail, wholesale and digital innovation, e-tail and leadership.
According to BFC/GQ Chair Dylan Jones, Green ultimately won out thanks to his keen commercial eye; he commented, “Craig demonstated a unique ability to build commercially on the incredible awareness driven by his high-profile shows during London Collections Men. It was a unanimous decision, as he showed a seemingly innate ability to understand the demands of growing a small business.”
British Fashion Council Chief Exec Caroline Rush, CBE, added, “The panel was impressed by the focus, determination and talent of the shortlisted designers. All have bright futures and will play key roles at London Collections Men. But there can only be one winner and Craig demonstrated incredible maturity; he has a clear plan of how the fund will benefit his business and how the mentoring can assist in his business growth over the next three years.”
For previous winners (Patrick Grant’s E Tautz in 2015, and Christopher Shannon in 2014) the award has been invaluable in propelling the label to the next level of commercial success. It looks as though we’ll be seeing a lot more of Craig Green – which in the Wonderland office and beyond is a major cause for celebration.