Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council
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Caroline Rush CBE is the Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council (BFC). She has 20 years of experience in marketing and PR across both consumer and corporate communications in fashion, music and lifestyle sectors and managed her own business for five years, during which time she delivered strategic communications and full press office function for the British Fashion Council. Today she is focused on technology, sustainability, best practice and focus on the customer needs, whether trade or consumer will shape the future of the fashion industry.
Since her appointment as Chief Executive in April 2009, Burberry, Matthew Williamson, Mulberry, Preen and Vivienne Westwood have returned to show their collections at London Fashion Week. Caroline has expanded the LONDON show ROOMS and Style Suites taking British designers to new markets including Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Sao Paolo. She was charged with curating the 2009 25th anniversary legacy project for the British Fashion Council which included launching the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, The BFC Fashion Trust and the BFC Fashion Arts Foundation. The same year, Caroline oversaw the move of the British Fashion Council’s headquarters to Somerset House. In 2016 under her direction the BFC launched The Fashion Awards; previously the British Fashion Awards, this celebration of global fashion now takes place at the iconic Royal Albert Hall and acts as a fundraiser for the British Fashion Council’s Education Foundation. This year she oversaw the move of London Fashion Week, London Fashion Week Men’s and London Fashion Week Festival to one central venue: The Store Studios at 180 Strand.
In 2012 she worked with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to launch Britain Creates, an artistic project which formed part of the Fashion 2012 platform to celebrate the Games and the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Under her tenure the first ever in-depth statistic-based reports on the fashion industry have been published, most notably, The Value of Fashion (2010, 2012, 2014) and The Future of Fashion (2012). In June 2012 the UK’s menswear industry was given its own platform when she created London Collections Men, now London Fashion Week Men’s, Britain’s only biannual menswear trade showcase for over 130 designers including Alexander McQueen, Burberry and Coach who now choose to show at the event.
Caroline has also presided over the launch of BFC/GQ Menswear Designer Fund a designer support initiative; Fashion Film, a talent initiative that encourages and supports designers to use film; Headonism, a millinery initiative, and Rock Vault, a fine jewellery initiative. Through her relationships with the government, Mayor of London, patrons, sponsors, designers, media and international retailers there has been exponential growth in the value, reach and profile of British fashion seeing it become a serious player in the global fashion economy.
Caroline Rush is listed in the Evening Standard Power 1000 List 2012, 2013, 2017 as well as the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Business of Fashion’s 500. In 2014 she was made an Honorary Professor at Glasgow Caledonian University and awarded a CBE for her services to the British fashion industry and in 2017 an Honorary Doctorate by the University of the Arts London.