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Aaron Esh SS23
Photography Chris Lensz

The 2023 NEWGEN designers have been revealed

Five talents will join Paolo Carzana, Sinéad O’Dwyer, Feben, and SS Daley for the British Fashion Council’s 30th anniversary

Since its inception in 1993, the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN scheme has seeded some of the UK’s most celebrated designers: among them Alexander McQueen, Jonathan Anderson, Kim Jones, Grace Wales Bonner, and Christopher Kane. It’s not the only way for ascendant talents to enter the spotlight, but the financial grants and fashion week slots offered up by the incubator do provide an on-ramp. This morning, the BFC will announce its latest cohort with the introduction of five new designers – Aaron Esh, Derrick, Kazna Asker, The Winter House, and Tolu Coker – as selected by industry bigwigs like Sarah Mower, Stavros Karelis, Kenya Hunt, Stephen Jones, and Sarah Burton

The newbies will join existing designers Ancuta Sarca, Conner Ives, Di Petsa, Feben, Saul Nash, Sinéad O’Dwyer, SS Daley, Paolo Carzana, and more, in the NEWGEN nestbed. “What is extremely moving and impressive about this generation is that they are activists,” Mower said. “They are committed to sustainability, equality, and equal opportunity and that's something we're really proud of.” At a time when arts funding falls to an all-time low – and threatens to create a two-tier class system within the creative industries – the BFC’s NEWGEN initiative is perhaps just as important as when it first started 30 years ago, helping to transform fledgling graduates into self-sustaining businesses. 

To mark the three-decade milestone, the BFC will also be hosting a year of anniversary celebrations, culminating in a landmark exhibition at the Design Museum, sponsored by Alexander McQueen. Though exact details of the NEWGEN 30 retrospective have yet to be unveiled, fashion nerds should relax in the knowledge that the SS24 edition of London Fashion Week is extremely fast approaching. “Celebrating this year's recipients is all the more exciting in light of the 30th anniversary,” CEO Caroline Rush said. “We are focused on creating an environment for creative and innovative businesses to succeed, and continue to nurture socially responsive and dynamic designers at the zeitgeist of British culture.”