Tokyo & London, February 19, 2021 – Rakuten, Inc., global leader in internet services, today announced that it has become a Patron of the British Fashion Council (BFC).
Including world-class fashion brands and tech companies, BFC Patrons play a key role in supporting the organization to deliver significant and impactful programs that benefit the industry and its need for a positive reset. The partnership announced today represents another important step for Rakuten to further strengthen its branding in the global fashion industry and collaborate with leading fashion brands, designers and events.
Through its BFC Patronage, Rakuten will also support London Fashion Week, held three times annually since 1983. Organized by the BFC, London Fashion Week February 2021 kicks off on February 19. London Fashion Week is one of the “Big Four” international Fashion Weeks, alongside New York, Milan and Paris. Rakuten partnered with the Japan Fashion Week Organization to become the headline sponsor for TOKYO Fashion Week in August 2019, renaming the event to Rakuten Fashion Week TOKYO.
Ryo Matsumura, Rakuten Executive Officer and E-Commerce Company Vice President, commented, “I am delighted that Rakuten will partner with the British Fashion Council to encourage innovation, create excitement and empower fashion brands and designers from the U.K. and around the world. Fashion is an important growth category within Rakuten's e-commerce business. We look forward to working alongside our new partner to support a diverse fashion scene and a successful circular fashion economy through events like London Fashion Week.”
Gemma Juviler, Commercial Director, British Fashion Council, commented, “We are delighted to welcome Rakuten to the British Fashion Council as our newest Patron. The company’s expertise and experience in technology will be invaluable to British fashion brands and we look forward to working with them.”
Rakuten has consistently grown its fashion footprint in recent years. Rakuten acquired ShopStyle in 2017, the leading fashion and lifestyle shopping platform for influencers and consumers, and has been a participant in the European Commission’s first memorandum of understanding to fight counterfeits for 10 years. In addition to becoming the title sponsor of Rakuten Fashion Week TOKYO in 2019, the company launched the “by R” program to support Japanese fashion brands and designers in September 2020.
Since launching its “Rakuten Fashion” strategy in 2019 aimed at promoting Japan’s fashion scene globally, Rakuten aims to become a facilitator of exchange between cultures, apparel designers, both small and large, to empower the global fashion industry.
About the British Fashion Council
The British Fashion Council (BFC) was set up in 1983 to promote British fashion internationally and co-ordinate this promotion through fashion weeks, exhibitions and showcasing events. The BFC now supports designers beginning at college level and extending to talent identification, business support and showcasing schemes. The BFC promotes British fashion and its influential role at home and abroad, helping British designer businesses develop their profiles and business globally. The BFC Foundation (Registered Charity Number: 11852152) was created for charitable purposes and grant giving; attracting, developing and retaining talent through education and business mentoring. The BFC Colleges Council offers support to students through BA and MA scholarships and links with industry through design competitions and Graduate Preview Day. Through grant-giving and business mentoring the BFC support designers through four talent identification and business support schemes: BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund, NEWGEN which includes womenswear, menswear and accessories, and the BFC Fashion Trust, a charity supporting UK based designers. The BFC showcasing initiatives and events include London Fashion Week, LONDON show ROOMs and the annual celebration of creativity and innovation in the fashion industry: The Fashion Awards.