Unit F büro für mode was founded in 2000 with the aim to grant financial support to designers who have the potential to establish themselves in the international market.
For this purpose a tailor-made Excellence-Funding Programme was set up which, through the decision and evaluation of an independent jury of industry experts, should assist fashion designers along their way towards internationalisation.
The larger part of the financial means available for supporting young talents are made available by the Arts Division of the Federal Austrian Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture and by the Culture Division of the City of Vienna.
The total amount of these project subsidies, which are granted twice a year in the presence of the subsidy givers, and the available showroom funding together add up to approximately 100,000.00 EUR. In addition to these seasonal subsidies, the AFA-Austria Fashion Awards valued at up to 43,000.00 EUR are given annually by an international jury of industry experts. As part of this funding activity, 149 projects have been funded and 64 fashion designers have won the AFA-Austria Fashion Awards since 2000.
Moreover, awards such as so fresh. the jewellery award by Pierre Lang and KONTAKT. Fashion Award by Erste Bank are also granted by an international jury of industry experts.
The festival for fashion & photography was set up in close collaboration with numerous sponsors and cooperation partners as a means of presenting the outstanding Austrian talents to a broad public. It serves as a platform to display Austrian fashion design and fashion photography. Moreover, numerous fashion projects with Austrian fashion designers have been initiated together with national and international partners and several publications have been released.
Structural problems for Austrian designers are mainly located in the production and distribution sector. This is where Unit F closely collaborates with nationwide as well as Vienna-wide economic funding institutions.
In order to improve the production conditions for Austrian fashion designers a feasibility study is currently being conducted in cooperation with aws-austria wirtschaftsservice for the inception of a pattern and small-batch workshop in Vienna. For departure, Unit F conceived a symposium on the theme of Fashion. And how to sell it in November 2008. Together with the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Wien Products a guerrilla store has been set up as part of the annual festival for fashion & photography since 2006.