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BFC chiefs: London must show it is open for business and committed to unity

Lauretta Roberts
17 February 2017

The leaders of the British Fashion Council used the opening of London Fashion Week to make an impassioned case for London to show to the world that it is open for business and continues to be a city of diversity and inclusivity, following last June's Brexit vote.

Chair of the organisation Dame Natalie Massenet said at the official opening of the event at its new location of Store Studios, 180 Strand that the "political uncertainty" will channelled into "fashion statements of a different kind".

"It is an understatement to say that we are living in a time of upheaval. We are seeing seismic political changes, not just here with Brexit, but in the US and in Europe. Change can be challenging at times but in this time of extraordinary innovation, we will thrive," Massenet said.

BFC CEO Caroline Rush CBE added that while the Brexit vote and the subsequent devaluation of sterling had boosted shopping and tourism in the capital, she was concerned about the wider impact of the decision to leave the EU.

She called on the government to listen to the BFC’s concerns about visas, tariffs, intellectual property and attracting talent. Some 50% of the designers showing at London Fashion Week (there will be 51 catwalk shows and 32 presentations) are from outside of the UK.

We are worth £28bn to the British economy each year, [creating] 880,000 jobs and are an industry that repeatedly exceeds the figures for national average growth,” Rush added.

London Fashion Week runs from 17-21 February.

The Industry will be hosting an exclusive networking event at London Fashion Week. On Monday 20 February at 4.30pm at Grooming Room, Century Club, Soho, fashion broadcaster Scott Wimsett will be in conversation with British supermodel Jade Parfitt after which drinks and cocktails will be served. Members of The Industry can attend for free and a limited number of additional tickets are available for fashion professionals. To request tickets, please email [email protected]

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