fashionforward2008_announcement.jpgCongratulations to Christopher Kane, Erdem, Marios Schwab and Roksanda Illincic - winners of this year's Fashion Forward sponsorship.

The British Fashion Council-led initiative offers financial backing to UK designers who have already created a name for themselves at London Fashion Week, but who are still in the early stages of setting up their businesses.

"I am thrilled to have been awarded Fashion Forward sponsorship," said Kane. "This is my fifth catwalk show at London Fashion Week and I am grateful to have their continued support."

This is the second lot of sponsorship for Illincic (A/W 08-9 pictured, right), who added: The attention and feedback that I received from my last Fashion Forward show was phenomenal and I feel extremely lucky to be in a position to enjoy this privilege for the second time."

BFC chief executive, Hilary Riva, noted the international reputation that has already been established for this year's recipients.

"This season's winners already have an international reputation, giving them a firm platform to develop their businesses into influential fashion brands," she said.