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Editors' Top Reads: News from END., M&S and more... Team
31 May 2024

Here are some of this week’s news and features highlights handpicked by team.

Is it all bad for independent British brands?

If Covid plus business rates plus VAT equals death to the independent UK brand, can anything be done to save them? sought to find the answer by interviewing industry leaders.

Last Tuesday marked a tough blow for fashiony types the world over, whose dreams of ever owning the renowned Falconetti dress from The Vampire’s Wife were dashed in a single Instagram post. Just like The Vampire himself, reality bites. This wasn't an isolated incident. After the collapse of Matches and Roksanda - thanks to steep business rates, the impact of Brexit and the aftermath of the Covid pandemic - the industry was left questioning the sustainability of independent designers moving forward.

Stefano Martinetto, CEO of Tomorrow, a fashion brand development agency that has cultivated the likes of Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Martine Rose and A-cold-wall*, said: "Every now and then there is a JW Anderson or a Martine Rose that proves to brands that there is a chance... But too many brands have been started in the past 10 years due to low barriers at the entrance of the market. It’s a tough market and brands need to be realistic."

Chloé Burney, Senior News & Features Writer.

END. partners with Adidas Originals on new ‘Fly Fishing’ collaboration collection

It's interesting to read that fly fishing is now deemed cool enough to warrant a collaboration collection between premium fashion and streetwear retailer END. and Adidas Originals – available to buy now.

There is even a pop-up tackle shop in END.’s Manchester store, and a competition seeing customers compete against each other – testing their fishing skills to win exclusive items from the collection.

Apparently, the collection “taps into the fast-growing sport and underground culture of fly fishing”, which is captivating a new generation of Millennial and Gen-Z anglers who wish to disconnect from the daily grind and “reconnect with nature”. Who’d have thought it in this digitally focused world where nobody can leave their phones alone for longer than two minutes?

Some readers (of a certain age) might recall an old TV ad from the 80s for Yellow Pages, where an old boy makes several calls and visits to bookstores asking if they have ‘Fly Fishing’ by J.R. Hartley. The tagline is, he is indeed J.R. Hartley as his quest finally becomes successful. I wonder if they’ve got any copies in the END. pop-up.

Tom Bottomley, Contributing Editor. 

Non-doms say they're leaving: will Labour remove the Tourist Tax to soften the blow?

This feature neatly summarises the history of non-dom status, which was originally put in place by King George III in 1799 to allow colonists to swerve tax at home. Effectively, it removes income tax and capital gains tax on overseas earnings for British residents. 

Labour has long held firm on its position on the abolishment of non-dom status since it was revealed that Ashkata Murty, wife of the then-chancellor Rishi Sunak, was able to save on taxes on her shares in her father’s multi-billion dollar, Indian multinational IT firm Infosys. The couple’s net worth currently stands at £651 million.

With now-chancellor Jeremy Hunt hopping on the non-dom policy bandwagon, those affected are threatening to leave the UK. But will a new government, Labour or not, renege on the removal of VAT-free shopping in an attempt to soften the economic blow to the retail, entertainment and hospitality industries caused by the loss of these (probably big) spenders, which begs the question: non-doms say they’re leaving. Who will I queue behind in Gails?

Katie Ross, Contributing Writer.

Marks & Spencer

M&S to revamp London stores with £30 million injection

The good news keeps on coming from M&S. Its fashion turnaround is well underway and now it's investing £30 million in its London stores creating a further 100 jobs in the process.

A buoyant M&S seems to lift the whole industry and an M&S that is committing to stores (after going through a painful restructuring of its store estate) will surely help lift the whole high street.

Goodness only knows we need some business and consumer confidence to be returned to the UK so could a new Government, the Olympics and the Euros (and some better weather please) help do that? Let's hope so and let's hope we see more retailers placing their faith in stores as M&S is doing.

Lauretta Roberts, Co-founder, CEO and Editor in Chief.

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