The British fashion industry reacts to Brexit

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  • Plus, how the vote may impact on London Fashion Week

    On Friday, Britain made history with a vote to leave the European Union. The British fashion industry resoundingly championed the Remain vote, and they have been just as candid with their opinions on the Leave outcome. Over the weekend, designers from Simone Rocha, to Erdem, and models Alexa Chung to Suki Waterhouse, voiced their dismay across social media. JW Anderson – who is originally from Northern Ireland and also heads up Spanish label Loewe – has been particularly vocal, sharing three Instagrams of the petition calling for a second referendum.

    British designers have a strong legacy within the tapestry of European design, and currently lead some of the top fashion house, from Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton, Celine’s Phoebe Philo, Chloe’s Clare Waight Keller and Maison Margiela’s John Galliano, to name but a few. In fact, haute couture was invented by an Englishman, Charles Frederick Worth, in the 19th century. The concern now is that a fallout with the EU may jeopardise the industry’s relationship with their European counterparts.

    Though it is of course still too early to tell exactly how Brexit will affect British fashion – from high-end designers to our favourite high street stores – thus far it hasn’t been happy news. The weakened pound has reportedly already affected the value of several high profile brands, with stocks for Jimmy Choo, Burberry, and Mulberry falling sharply, according to the Business of Fashion. Other initial reports have focused on how a potential rise in outsourced production costs for brands will have a knock on effect that could up the overall cost of the final product – essentially making that new Mulberry tote even less attainable.

    One of the biggest questions right now is how Brexit will affect London Fashion Week. With the shows confirmed to take place as planned in September, it will be interesting to see how the vote influences which designers show here, and the collections themselves. The catwalk has long served as a vehicle for designers to address cultural moods as much as zeitgeisty trends, and it will surely prove to be a widely cited reference point.

    While we await more concrete evidence of what the future holds, from the catwalk to the high street, scroll on to see how the fashion industry is reacting to Brexit:

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