BFC To Honor Joe Casely-Hayford at the 2023 British Fashion Awards

The British Fashion Council will open a new MA scholarship for Black or mixed-heritage students in the impactful London designer’s name.

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The British Fashion Council (BFC) will spotlight the late designer Joe Casely-Hayford at this year’s Fashion Awards with a new MA scholarship and a posthumous Special Recognition Award. The event, which is scheduled to take place at the Royal Albert Hall in London on December 4, will pay tribute to the visionary’s enduring legacy in fashion, one that began when he emerged at the peak of the capital city’s design scene in the ’80s.

Taya Francis, who attends Nottingham Trent University, will be named the inaugural recipient of the Joe Casely-Hayford MA Scholarship, which serves to fund and support a student from a Black or mixed-heritage background who has an offer from or is currently studying for an MA at a BFC Colleges Council member university. Future applicants will be review based on talent and need, using materials including the applicant’s portfolio and financial circumstances.

“Congratulations to Taya Francis, our very first BFC Foundation Joe Casely-Hayford MA Scholarship recipient,” said Caroline Rush, the BFC’s chief executive, in a statement. “Casely-Hayford was one of the most talented and groundbreaking designers of our time, and he catapulted London’s reputation as a fashion and cultural hub on a global stage. He paved the way for generations of designers and the UK fashion industry is indebted to his unique vision, designs and unwavering support of young fashion talent.”

Casely-Hawford launched his namesake brand in 1984, and he quickly made a name for himself as an expert purveyor of sculputural tailored garments. Throughout his career, the designer crafted pieces for some of music’s biggest names, including U2, Betty Boo, Drake, Liam Gallager, Lou Reed, Michael Jackson and The Clash. He served as the creative director at Gieves & Hawkes from 2005 to 2008; and in 2009, he relaunched his eponymous brand with his son, Charlie Casely-Hayford.

The posthumous Special Recognition Award will honor Casely-Hayford’s contributions to both fashion and culture, over his 40-year career. The designer’s wife, Maria Casely-Hayford, offered the following statement: “The Casely-Hayford family is delighted that the BFC has bestowed upon Joe this Special Recognition Award. It is an affirmation of Joe’s extraordinary creative talent, his decades long international, cultural influence and his enduring legacy.”

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