Luxury, Creativity and the UK Fashion Industry


Most of us are starting to understand why we shouldn’t buy fakes but we don’t really understand why we should or shouldn’t buy luxury goods. We don’t really know any more what makes a luxury item really luxurious. I have never bought a fake luxury item, but I don’t own many luxury items I have a few Prada bags but nothing too extraordinary. This might be because I love new designers, I like vintage but not 70’s, 60’s more like 30’s and 1900’s. I don’t want to write a book review for you as there are already so many good ones out there but I think it’s worthwhile to read Dana Thomas’ book Deluxe How luxury Lost its Lustre. This book got me thinking…

Fashion is very intuitive, it’s visual, tactile, it’s fun and it’s social, but it’s also a business. In 2005, the UK clothing and footwear industry was worth £44.45 billion and employed more than 165,000 people – which doesn’t seem like a lot when there are 60 million people in the UK.

I’m trying to find stats that shows how many people work in every aspect of the fashion business in the UK from shop assistants, garment workers, designers to – anyone who makes a living from the fashion industry. There seems to be a lack of data on the fashion industry as a whole, it’s broken down into sectors and it seems a bit dis jointed. I guess what I’m thinking about, is that fashion can be so many things – but it’s still business and I’ve noticed that London fashionistas don’t like the business of fashion. London is an epic centre of creativity, it breeds it – there is a unique style in every area of London. London style is that there is no one style; it’s known & admired for it’s creativity and but not for it’s business – which I understand – but some how that means we don’t know how important the fashion economy is to the UK and it’s not appreciated. Last year when I was at Danish Fashion Week everyone was telling me the fashion was the 5th largest export and how proud people were of that. Even thought we have the British Fashion Council, there is no single organisation representing the whole industry, supporting its development and lobbying for policy support.
I have no idea how much the fashion industry is worth in the UK but once I find out I’ll let you know!

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2 comments on “Luxury, Creativity and the UK Fashion Industry

  1. Courtney
    February 7, 2008 at 14:14

    Such a good post – you’re so right on so many fronts. I’m glued to the computer for more business data…happy researching! xx

  2. Julie Fredrickson
    February 10, 2008 at 3:03

    Its interesting that you mention London fashionistas as not being very interested in business because my favorite business of fashion blog is written by Imran Ahmet who lives and works for a luxury conglomerate in London. I see you have him on your blog roll.

    But then given the flighty nature of so many of our colleagues I would say most of us got into the business because we aren’t so into business. Though I admit to a real fascination with it.

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