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Kiko Kostadinov MA collection T-bone Fletcher Tom
Kiko Kostadinov MA collectionPhotography T-bone Fletcher

Kiko Kostadinov and Wales Bonner win NEWGEN support

The British Fashion Council reveals who will be receiving sponsorship for the upcoming SS17 show season

NEWGEN MEN is one of menswear’s most prestigious talent spotting schemes. In the past, its committee have ‘spotted’ and supported the likes of Agi & Sam, Astrid AndersenNasir Mazhar and J.W. Anderson, and today it has announced its latest protégés. 

Alex Mullins, Bobby Abley, Cottweiler, Craig Green, Diego Vanassibara, Liam Hodges and PIETER will continue to receive support to showcase their SS17 collections, and recent CSM grad Kiko Kostadinov, Phoebe English and Dazed 100 designer Wales Bonner will receive it for the first time. 

Wales Bonner, who has shown with Topman and Fashion East’s scheme MAN for the last two seasons, has received critical acclaim – not just for her elegant designs, but for her poetic shows and presentations which have grappled with complex ideas about black representation. Phoebe English, who is in her tenth season, has gained a reputation for her diaphanous drapes and abstract-but-wearable silhouettes.

As for Kostadinov, he’s only just graduated from university, presenting his graduate collection at CSM’s MA show at London Fashion Week in February. Here, he sent a gang of Morphsuit-clad men down the runway wearing garments that riffed on contemporary workwear. “I feel very happy and honoured to have been given this level of trust and belief in such an early stage of my work,” says Kostadinov. “Being one of the few (designers) who have been selected straight out of their studies is very exciting.” As for what we can expect for him, the Bulgarian-born designer promises a “high level of commitment to personal ideas and reactionary contribution to contemporary menswear.”

For Liam Hodges and the other six NEWGEN MEN returnees, the continued support affords them the opportunity to further establish their brands in today’s market. “It’s fantastic to get the continued support and advice. It is hard enough starting out, without the correct support it’s unimaginable,” says Hodges. “(The sponsorship) will be mainly used to continue developing the catwalk presentation and the collection itself.”

Selected by a committee of industry heavyweights including Fashion East’s Lulu Kennedy, the Financial Times’ men’s fashion critic Charlie Porter and MACHINE-A’s founder and buying director Stavros Karelis, these designers are surely the ones to watch come the SS17 show season. Bring on June.