Could Brexit Destroy British Fashion?

Not long before the latest fully digital London fashion week Started on 19 February – with a para-down schedule that reflected the epidemic’s ongoing impact on the sector – more than 450 key industry figures, including designers Paul Smith, Catherine Hamnet and Roxanda Ilinic, Sent an irregular letter 10 for Downing Street.

In it, the signatories claimed that Negotiations between EU and UK may threaten the existence of newly formed Brexit trade terms Hundreds of fashion businesses “disregard” last-minute deals. Local industry, the letter said, was potentially facing a “decay” for Europe’s new rebalancing geography.

The letter, addressed to and hosted by United States Prime Minister Boris Johnson, states that “fashion contributes more to UK GDP than the fishing, music, film, pharmaceuticals and automobile industries.” Think tank fashion roundtable.

“There is a gaping hole in the deal made with the European Union where free movement should be promised for goods and services for all creatives, including the fashion and textiles sector.”

Even Samantha Cameron, wife of former Prime Minister David Cameron – the leader who held the referendum in 2016, which resulted in Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, stated in the first place – A. BBC radio interview Her contemporary fashion label, Cefin, was being interrupted by Brexit for “early issues”.

“If you are bringing goods to the country from outside the UK, and then trying to sell them back to Europe,” Ms Cameron said, “then currently very challenging and difficult.”

Of that majority British fashion industry continues to rail against Brexit A little surprising. Over the past five years, Homegrown start-up brands, international luxury homes, London’s top design schools and rural textile producers have all expressed concern over whether Britain will become a creative and commercial hub for fashion after Brexit Will maintain reputation.

More recently, last year, as the clock ticked toward the 31 December deadline, fears of a no-deal deal grew, bringing with it huge new taxes on trade goods and gridlocked ports, when the British The economy had already taken a turn in the epidemic.

That scenario avoided at the eleventh hour. but as Britain adjusts to its new position outside the block, A chorus of voices from across the fashion sector are expressing increasing concern about what comes next.

Take John Horner, the chief executive of Model 1, a London-based modeling agency that represents Naomi Campbell and Lara Stone. For decades, they have booked models abroad in less than a day for runway shows or magazine shoots, with at least a quarter of their revenue generated from European jobs. But the free movement between Britain and the European Union came to an end on 1 January, resulting in new visa requirements. Mr. Horner believes that the extra layer of paperwork and costs will have a dramatic impact on the business.

“The model now requires one of the 27 visas to go and work in European countries – it will be a continuing administrative nightmare,” Mr Horner said, noting that the British creative industry would seek visa-free negotiations on the government Clubbing together to create pressure. Agreements working for artists and professionals. “I think we will also see many international players bypass London as a place to shoot and instead trade with European cities.”

According to industry body Walpole, 42 per cent of all British luxury goods are exported to the European Union. Now, UK-based fashion brands are competing with new customs procedures and mountains of taxes, where an accidental check box or stroke of a pen can mean time-consuming delays or fines.

Roxanda chief executive Jamie Gill said the fact that the deal was concluded in the final moments of 2020, with little time to accommodate unfamiliar bureaucratic hurdles and penalties from its small brand staff in the UK . Artisan suppliers and manufacturers in Europe.

“That’s all there is to learn for the new rules to work for us and for big logistics partners like FedEx and DHL,” Mr Gill said. He said, “Right now there is a delay in every case, everybody is doing things wrong and it is costing both time and money. When no deal was left, the industry breathed a sigh of relief and we retained zero tariffs. But the epidemic means that it is very difficult, and every brand wants to get goods on the shop floor and online as soon as possible. “

Last week, the British Fashion Council, the industry’s lobbying body, said the trip was in a “live and ongoing conversation” with government officials over the restrictions, and was working with designers and brands to give them paperwork and Rules around the rules of origin for products that could get pace with customs of understanding.

No mention of import issues. Many EU consumers buying goods from UK-based fashion retailers’ websites are being charged a tax bill of 20 per cent or more of the customs and goods costs, and British customers buying from the EU are also reeling under additional bills Huh.

Adam MansellThe owner of the UK Fashion and Textile Association warned that it is currently cheaper for retailers to work with everyone than to write down the price of goods, either abandoning them or potentially burning them. Big businesses have no control over this, never mind small ones. “

Another setback for many fashion brands and retailers is the British government’s decision to end the retail export scheme on 1 January. The scheme allowed international visitors to claim 20 percent of the value-added tax on their purchases, which allowed foreign tourists for a long time. To make price-buying, tax-free in the UK. Now, luxury power players prefer Burbari, Harrods and Oxfordshire shopping outlet Bicester Village believe the new legislation will reduce UK attractions as a luxury shopping destination when such attractions are most needed.

In December, 17 luxury and retail companies estimated that there would be a lack of planned investment of one billion pounds in infrastructure such as store expansion and distribution centers as shoppers had to move elsewhere due to reduced demand for shoppers, which is an effect , Which would be felt by ordinary British, not just luxury names.

“It is an issue that only affects the West End, it is wrong to think; Over 500 million tax-free purchases are made regionally, including Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Glasgow and Liverpool, ”said James Lambert, vice president of Value Retail, which owns Bicester Village. The outlet mall, built to look like a small town where denizens include Burberry, Gucci and Dior, has become one Britain’s most popular tourist Hot spot.

Mr Lambert said, “The impact will be felt throughout the retail supply chain and across the hospitality industry across the UK.”

Nevertheless, not all businesses are pessimistic. While some english Silk And Thread While suppliers said their European customers’ reaction was that they would rather purchase from European suppliers than accept additional fees and hassles, Brian Wilson of textile manufacturer Harris Tweed Hebrides felt that short-term obstacles are nothing that cannot be overcome. is.

“We are not in the position of grocers or people with perishable inventions, which is clearly a terrible time,” he said.

Harris Tweed is a hard-wearing, all-weather textile worn by the Hebrides Islanders in their homes. While 14 percent of clothing is exported to fashion makers in Europe, Mr Wilson said the US, Korean and Japanese markets remain strong and trade with those countries remains stable, reducing Brexit disruption.

cabinet Office, As of 19 February Still had not formally responded to the fashion roundtable, stating that it was offering helplines, webinars and business support to those from the fashion sector. For companies already recovering from the stress of a year of ongoing lockouts and epidemics, however, this may not be enough.

Fashion designer Katherine Hemnett, long known for her plain speech, expressed the situation to her peers.

“If there is no fanatic,” he said, “British brands will die.”

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