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London Fashion Week 2015’s impact on UK businesses and designers

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LFW is a globally recognised event, attracting famous labels, owners, retailers and supermodels, including the likes of Burberry, Paul Smith, Topshop and Naomi Campbell, as well as aspiring fashionistas.

In a bid to encourage growth of the British fashion industry, the enterprise division of professional services firm KPMG has committed to a partnership with the BFC as LFW has started.

KPMG promises access to its team of dedicated mentors who will deliver advice and guidance to the UK’s rising design talent and fashion brands, while individuals will also be given access to its small business accounting service.

Iain Moffatt, head of enterprise for KPMG in the UK, said: “Our partnership with the British Fashion Council is a platform for KPMG Enterprise to support budding designers in their desire to run successful businesses, helping them to grow and develop, and maybe even rise to become the international catwalk brands of the future.”

Caroline Rush, CEO at British Fashion Council, added: “We are truly delighted to announce that global professional services giant KPMG has committed to become a patron of the British Fashion Council.  As part of the BFC’s Business Pillar KPMG will bring its incredibly talented advisory teams to work closely with some of the UK’s most promising designers to help support their business growth.”

Looking deeper at the BFC’s Business Pillar, the council has worked with key industry figures over the past two years, and has calculated that 10,000 hours are spent each year on mentoring LFW designers through schemes with Topshop, Topman, eBay, Vogue, GQ and more, with the number of graduates involved in the hundreds.

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Further details found that more than 50 per cent of the LFW schedule is from designers who have graduated or still actively involved in BFC programmes. 

Ultimately, the new look at the BFC’s pillar is to “reinforce London’s reputation as the city to start, develop and grow a designer fashion business,” which will happen with three key stages:

To build on this success, the BFC aims to increase its Business Pillar activity with the following three key stages:

1. Clarify the fashion industry for new talent entering the sector with workshops to provide opportunities for students and graduates planning a business. This will include building closer links to business schools for stronger talent management, while further fact files will be offered online.

2. Business support schemes will be rebooted and restructured to cover everything from financial management to merchandising to manufacturing.

3. A new Brand Builders Programme will support emerging designers for more chance to become future brands, providing up to six fashion companies with one-on-one time with senior mentors.

Boris Johnson, London mayor, said: “British designers are internationally renowned for their innovative ideas and craftsmanship. There is justifiably always a huge buzz around London Fashion Week, with journalists and buyers jetting in from around the world. Over the past few years British Fashion Council business support and mentoring programmes have had an important role in ensuring our designers are able to develop and thrive in a highly competitive sector.

“Strengthening this activity will help ensure that even more of them will be able to maximise the business potential of their amazing talent, which can only be a good thing for our city’s reputation for creativity and for our economy.”

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