Eight UK-based designers with potential for significant international growth have been shortlisted for funding to help make the transition to a global fashion brand.

The winner will be awarded GBP200,000 (US$313,000) and high-level mentoring support under the British Fashion Council/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, an initiative which is now in its second year.

The shortlisted designers are Richard Nicoll, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane, Charlotte Olympia, E Tautz, Nicholas Kirkwood, Osman and Peter Pilotto.

They have all been invited to present their collections and future plans to the judging panel chaired by Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue, comprising industry experts and Fund sponsors.  

The winner, who will be announced in the March issue of Vogue, will demonstrate a clear vision for their business and how the Fund will contribute to their growth and their infrastructure, with a focus on creating a strong international brand.

The Fund was launched by BFC chairman Harold Tillman in September 2008 as a legacy project for the BFC's 25th anniversary celebrations.

Supporters include Burberry, Clothing at Tesco, Debenhams, Harrods, House of Fraser, Jaeger and Aquascutum, LF Europe, Marks & Spencer, Paul Smith and Topshop.