British designer brand E.Tautz has been announced as the winner of this year's British Fashion Council (BFC)/GQ Designer Menswear Fund at a reception held tonight in London. The 148-year-old brand, founded in 1867 and re-branded in 2009 under the creative direction of Patrick Grant, is only the second to receive the prize after Christopher Shannon was awarded the £150,000 grant at last year's inaugural event.
“We are delighted to be able to support a label with such a strong identity, precise business plan and noteworthy presence at London Collections: Men,” said the BFC’s Chief Executive Caroline Rush when announcing the winner. “I strongly believe that the prize will successfully help propelling E. Tautz onto the international fashion scene.”
In response to the success of the BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund, this year awarded to celebrated womenswear designer Mary Katrantzou, the BFC/GQ Menswear Designer Fund was launched in 2014 to provide menswear labels with the financial backing needed to take their business to the next stage, coupled with a year-long mentoring scheme.
“I didn’t expect this at all, thank you,” was an ever-modest Grant’s reaction to the announcement.
After re-launching the E. Tautz brand – a secondary line of the Norton & Sons tailor of Savile Row, owned by Grant – as a ready to wear line in 2009, and taking home the Menswear Designer prize at 2010’s British Fashion Awards, the Scottish-born designer has developed a once ailing business into one of London’s most exciting menswear labels.
Astrid Andersen, Christopher Raeburn, Matthew Miller and Sibling were shortlisted for the 2015 prize alongside E.Tautz. Their lengthy presentations were judged by a committee including Caroline Rush, BFC; Charlie Porter, Financial Times; Dylan Jones and Robert Johnston, GQ; Jonathan Akeroyd, Alexander McQueen; Massimiliano Pogliani and Justine Rouch, Vertu – the fund’s sponsor.