London challenges Paris, New York and Milan as new fashion capital

westwood

Alors que les semaines de la mode se sont achevées à Paris en octobre, Londres s’impose désormais comme un détour incontournable entre New-York et Milan. En effet, depuis plusieurs années, la capitale anglaise est devenue tout aussi importante que New-York ou Paris pour les personnes influentes de ce secteur, par des présentations de marques prestigieuses telles que Burberry, Vivienne Westwood ou encore Matthew Williamson.

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Fashion is pretty important in British history. Indeed, the UK had the fashion industry to thank for its Industrial Revolution which made Britain the first economy in the world until the US beat it in the early 20th century. But, when anybody thinks about the fashion world, they think Paris, New-York and Milan rather than London. Yet London is now more connected to the fashion world than is generally known.

In fact, some brands such as Burberry are famous all over the world and spread British culture. Christopher Bailey, chief creator officer of Burberry since 2009 and creative director since 2001, explained in front of a famous audience that his new collection for Spring-Summer 2014 which was presented in September had many British influences. Christopher Bailey converted  Burberry into a symbol for the British fashion industry. He has never stopped preserving British traditions (he only chooses British models for the campaign, like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Cara Delevingne or the most famous model Kate Moss).

burberry-and-emma-watson1

Furthermore, Burberry has become the most tech-savvy luxury company in the world. The brand launched its “Tweetwalk” and now has more than 10 million Facebook fans. Moreover the brand created its own social network to allow all its employees around the world to be connected at every moment. But, Burberry does more than Fashion, indeed, in 2008, the brand created its foundation to help children achieve their dreams and develop their own creativity. Thanks to his major role in the development of Burberry, Mr Bailey became one of the 10 most influential men in the fashion industry and when Christian Dior decided to change its chief creative officer, Bailey could have been one of the candidates for the job.

The fashion industry is an important pillar in the UK’s economy and it became one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy. In fact, there are 810 000 employees and in 2010 the value created was £21 billion. Moreover, most of the clothes designed by British fashion brands are “made in Britain” but fashion factories are also attractive for foreign brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada or Chanel. With this world interest, Britain has decided to restore its manufacturing activity and promote its high-fashion quality. Unfortunately, the recession had an impact on manufacturing because it has limited the investment in its sector. Moreover, the two fashion weeks that take place every year (in February and September) and attract thousands of people to the capital, are a way to increase tourism in Britain.

To insure a great future for the UK fashion industry, the government has given about £150 000 to develop technology in this industry. The Contest was created to encourage a closer collaboration between the fashion and digital industries and it gave £25 000 to 4 innovative and tech-savvy companies in the fashion industry.

As can be seen with the French capital, fashion has become key to promoting a city in the world, and it can help the country’s economy. Thus, it’s understandable that the British government would choose to get involved in the development of this industry.

Marie PERRIOT & Anaïs SEGONDS

 

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