If you are wondering what is going on at Somerset House next to Kings, it is London Fashion Week. No doubt you will see plenty of references to the stars, models and fashions in the popular press. However, there is a significant Cultural Industries agenda here. First, London Fashion Week, like other fashion weeks around the world, is sponsored by the city government as part of a place promotion strategy (In London’s case, the London Development Agency of the Greater London Authority). Second, as high fashion is such an important (cultural and creative) industry in London and the UK, this promotion is also one of industrial strategy, and one focused on innovation.
A report ‘The value of fashion’ by Oxford Economics was published this week by the British Fashion Council (also supported by the LDA). The report put the value as £21 Bn.
The BFC web site says ‘The ‘Value of the UK Fashion Industry’ report, commissioned by the British Fashion Council,defines the industry and analyses the true breadth and economic value of the UK fashion industry for the first time. The industry’s direct economic contribution to UK GDP was collated by analysing the industry’s profits and wages (known as gross value added (GVA)) across a wide range of fashion products and items – including womenswear and menswear through to handbags and shoes – plus the contribution of fashion education, fashion marketing and fashion media. The report also highlights the pivotal role of cutting edge British design, and showcasing events such as London Fashion Week, in driving innovation and growth within the industry itself, as well as attracting millions of visitors from across the globe to the UK every year.’