British Vogue announced today that Jonathan Saunders is the lucky winner of the third annual British Fashion Council/Vogue Fashion Fund prize, which means he gets £200,000, industry mentorship, and lots of attention. He beat out eight other finalists: womenswear designers Roksanda Ilincic, Mary Katrantzou, Richard Nicoll, Marios Schwab, Peter Pilotto, Meadham Kirchhoff, and Zoe Jordan, as well as shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood. All the finalists will also receive mentorship from British fashion industry bigwigs, but no cash prize. To compete for the award, all nine nominees had to present their latest collections as well as a business plan to a judging panel chaired by British Vogue’s Alexandra Shulman.
Known for his use of vibrant colors and rich fabrics, Scottish-born Saunders studied printed textiles at both the Glasgow School of Art and at Central Saint Martins, where he got his MA in 2002. He mounted his first runway show at New York Fashion Week 2008, and has since shown every season in London.