As chief executive officer of the British Fashion Council, Caroline Rush oversees the British fashion industry’s activities within the domestic and international markets, providing integral support for emerging and established designers and attracting foreign buyers and investors. Since her appointment to the role in 2009, Rush has been widely credited with playing an instrumental role in developing London Fashion Week into a prime event on the international fashion calendar by establishing its coveted status as one of the ‘Big Four’ fashion weeks.
Rush has also positioned the British fashion industry as a hotbed for emerging design talent propelled by rising stars such as Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, Erdem, and J.W. Anderson. She has also spearheaded London Fashion Week’s digital innovation, having introduced the first livestream in 2009 on the BFC website. By 2012, London Fashion Week had partnered with Youtube and Righster to livestream over 21 individual showcases and for Spring/Summer 2014 had also partnered with leading bloggers to stream fashion news onto digital screens in London’s underground stations.
Having initially pursued an art course, Rush established her career in public relations and marketing in the early ‘90s in Manchester. In 1998, hired by Annette Worsley-Taylor Associates, Rush began her long-term collaboration with the British Fashion Council, providing creative and marketing solutions for London Fashion Week. In 2002 Rush launched public relations company Crush Communications, serving as managing director and overseeing the council’s press office for all initiatives, including the British Fashion Awards, as well as providing strategic public relations advice. Having joined the council in an official capacity in 2009, Rush immediately oversaw the council’s relocation to Somerset House in central London and as part of the 25th anniversary celebration, contacted established British brand’s such as Temperley, Pringle of Scotland, Jonathon Saunders, Matthew Williamson and Burberry to help reassert the industry’s prominence.
Other 25th Anniversary legacy projects that Rush has implemented include the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, the BFC/Bazaar Fashion Arts Foundation and the BFC/Elle Talent Launch Pad. The marketing professional also oversees the British Fashion Awards, one of the most highly recognised award ceremonies within the industry and in her capacity as chief executive has also played an instrumental role in liaising with colleges and with government to help extend visas for foreign students who demonstrate talent in fashion and technology.