London Fashion Week kicked off with a conference on the 14th February this year announcing positive growth in the UK fashion industry.
Chairman of the British Fashion Council, Natalie Massenet, announced figures showing growth in the UK fashion industry over the past five years.
Massenet explained that the direct value of the UK fashion economy is up 22%, increasing from £21 billion in 2009 to £26 billion in 2014. This is good news for the fashion industry. It coincides with the news that the UK is slowing spending more which was apparent over the 2013 Christmas holidays.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “These latest figures are clear evidence of the hugely important contribution that fashion makes to our economy. It is a dynamic industry whose value is increasing thanks to the dazzling creativity of our designers, the brilliant colleges that bring up the next waves of talent and a fast-moving retail sector, which covers the spectrum of great style from bespoke to high street. My office will continue to work with the British Fashion Council to ensure that London remains on the front row in the international fashion stakes.”
Having London host such a major event gives the city solid credibility for its input towards fashion. Tourists worldwide travel to shop at the fashion capital thus proving London to be a big influence on the fashion world. This is very important as tourism is the fifth biggest industry in the UK. It supports more than three million jobs and contributes £127 billion to the country’s GDP each year.
Sam Moore, COO of Oxford Economics said: “Our research underlines the continued and growing importance of the fashion industry’s contribution to the UK economy. Despite, the severe economic headwinds that have confronted British industries since 2009, the growth of the fashion industry is a testament to the popularity of the UK’s fashion industry.”
Fashion Week has increased its contribution to the UK GDP. This shows that there must be higher productivity within the fashion sector, but despite this positive news the industry has seen a drop in employment figures, it is estimated to take on 797,000 jobs. This is a decrease of 2.3% from 2009.
On the official London Fashion Week website, it states: “Fashion’s total contribution to the economy via both indirect support for supply chain industries and induced spending of employee’s wage income is estimated to have risen to over £46 billion. An increase of 23% since 2009 (source: Oxford Economics 2014).”
The bi-yearly event showcases the best designers and their new creations, this time for the Autumn/ Winter 2014 collection. The five days set in various places such as warehouses in Shoreditch (see Giles Deacon), and not so unusual settings (Somerset House), are well known for the beautiful models being churned out to an eager audience and an A-list front row keeping an eye out for new designers, new ideas and new clothes.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne said: “London is about to host one of the central events in the fashion calendar, but more importantly it is about to showcase the world-class talent we have in our fashion industry. It is a testament to the designers, large and small, of the United Kingdom, and to all those who work in the wider retail industry.”
This proves the importance of the fashion sector in the UK and that London Fashion Week should be taken more seriously.
Sasha Wilkins a writer, who has won awards for her blogging (which she does under the pseudonym Liberty London Girl) said during London Fashion Week: “For the record: I am quite capable of intelligent discourse, whilst wearing said pretty frock. Loving fashion does not atrophy one’s brain.”
To read the statistics on the fashion industry on Fashion United’s website click here.
For London Fashion Week’s official website click here.