Background to Today's Marketplace
|Vivienne Westwood, AW12
The UK fashion industry is one of the most vibrant and creative business sectors in this country. It has universal appeal and a unique DNA that has visually defined periods in time across the centuries.
The industry is revered as a world-leader in fashion education, and we consequently produce some of the world’s most innovative designers, from Alexander McQueen to Vivienne Westwood, and every year our talent creation schemes launch new stars on their way to global recognition. The designs shown at London Fashion Week are a catalyst for trends that are then seen via the media and retailers and eventually worn by the public. The innovation and inspiration showcased on the catwalks drive the wheels of our industry, and have been likened to Research & Development in other great industries – the absence of which would leave a stagnated sector.
The past two decades have seen considerable changes within this industry. Most notable are the closer links between designer fashion and retail which have seen many designers become high street names through their collaborations.
The ‘Value of the UK Fashion Industry’ report commissioned by the British Fashion Council and published in 2010 as part of the 25 year legacy programme, defines the industry and analyses the true breadth and economic value of the UK fashion industry for the first time. Download and print complete report.
Subsequently, the British Fashion Council launched the 'Future of Fashion - Strategic Considerations for Growth' report at a press conference, hosted by Sir Philip Green and Harold Tillman CBE, in February 2012. In this document The British Fashion Council lays out its vision for the sector, identifying five areas which it believes have great potential and highlights the action required to ensure this potential is met. Spanning skills, training, education, job creation, talent development, retail, manufacturing, philanthropy and sponsorship. The considerations offer inspiration and hope for the future of this great industry and for the UK economy. Read the report.
Both reports recognise that the fashion industry has clear
strengths but must also rise to meet important challenges. One of which
is specifically relevant to the DFF: the high failure rate of designer
businesses and the lack of business skills and entrepreneurial training. The Designer Fact File aims to address this challenge.
The specially commissioned video for Future of Fashion: Strategic Considerations for Growth. Members of the industry including Anna Wintour OBE, Caroline Rush, Dylan Jones, Harold Tillman CBE and Sir Philip Green discuss the growth for the fashion industry going forward.