Fashion Week Hits London Amid Brexit Fears

Fashion Week opens in London, with 51 shows and 120 designers over five days. But some in the industry are concerned over the impact that Brexit will have on their future.

London Fashion Week hits the streets of the capital once again with the opening Saturday graced by fashion royalty and fashion followers. Amid the fabrics and the FROWS, feelings of uncertainty lurking offstage says Reuters’ Marie-Louise Gumuchian.

“The impact of Brexit on Britain’s future relations with the European Union is definitely something that is casting a shadow over the fashion industry here. A survey conducted ahead of the June referendum showed that more than 90% of nearly 300 designers here wanted Britain to remain in the bloc. Designers say that a weaker pound following the vote has definitely benefitted sales, but a lot of questions are being asked about the future. This is an industry that does a significant amount of business with EU countries and attracts a lot of talent from the bloc. For now, designers are saying that they’re adopting a ‘let’s see what happens’ approach.”

Luxury designer Anya Hindmarch though is determined to remain upbeat.

“I think it’s going to be fine, I really do. I think the uncertainty is a worry. The biggest issues I think for the fashion industry – easily getting talent into the country. We have a big percentage of our employees are from Europe and that’s really helped us. They have very specific skills. So it’s about retaining that talent and being able to get that talent easily. I think we will be able to. I don’t think the UK is going to turn down people who are helping to grow our economy, I mean why would you?”

Outside – some protesters campaigning against the use of animal skins and others about ageism on the catwalk.
But that won’t stop one of the biggest fashion events in the world.

51 shows, 32 presentations and more than 120 designers, all in the next five days. – Mia Womersley REUTERS