As London Fashion Week takes over the city, Prime Minister Theresa May shows her support for the UK fashion industry in a post-Brexit country.
Since her inauguration as Prime Minister, Theresa May has had many issues to deal with, least of all Brexit and its ramifications for the UK and its industries. With its contribution of £28 billion and 900 000 jobs, the fashion industry is one of the UK economy’s key players, making it one of May’s primary considerations. Showing her support of the industry and upping her already high style credentials (May caused a media frenzy with her leopard print pumps), the Prime Minister hosted a reception with the British Fashion Council at 10 Downing Street to open London Fashion Week.
Joined by BFC Chairman Dame Natalie Massenet, the Prime Minister welcomed fashion apprentices and BFC scholarship recipients and graduate trainees to the event, and spoke of her support of these schemes – both within and outwith the fashion industry. May said: “The Government I lead will do everything we can, including the right investment in training and skills, to help everyone, whatever people’s backgrounds, to go as far as their talents can take them.”
The Prime Minister also dealt with the big elephant in the room, whose name is Brexit. “From our home grown start-ups to international fashion houses – every business in the industry will play a major role in ensuring we make a success of Brexit. By taking advantage of the opportunities that leaving the EU gives us and playing to our strengths as a great trading nation – we can build a fairer economy that works for all, not just the privileged few.”
Her sentiments are shared by BFC CEO Caroline Rush, who said recently: “We have a point to prove to our guests that the vote to leave the EU doesn’t mean we’re going to end our international partnerships and collaborations.” Speaking of London Fashion Week and its importance on the international fashion scene, Rush spoke of the anticipation from arriving guests, who are visiting the capital from over 52 countries. “This is the first international event on our shores since the EU vote and it’s definitely sparked a lot of interest from all over the world. People want to know if London feels different. We need to send them a clear message that London is open to outsiders and the UK is a place of business opportunity.”
London mayor Sadiq Khan also expressed his support of London Fashion Week as a platform for international welcome. “London is open to the world and is an international leader of creativity and entrepreneurship. There’s a fantastic range of designers and talent on the schedule this season, highlighting the very best the industry has to offer – from big brands to independent retailers, the London fashion scene has never been more diverse.”
With its economic impact, as well as its draw as a creative force, the UK’s fashion industry is a major issue. But with its priority amongst political figureheads and industry leaders, the forecast looks as bright as the outfits parading around London Fashion Week.