Although a lot of people were worried about Brexit and the uncertain future of Britain but Heidy Rehman believes there are reasons to be optimistic – and especially for the fashion industry, which directly contributed £26bn to the UK economy in 2014.
She is a a former stockbroker, Who founded and manages Rose & Willard, a womenswear brand that is different in that they design, manufacture and retail their products from one location in London.” Fashion is highly competitive and we now face tough challenges. We have to balance the benefits of a weaker currency, which has stimulated overseas demand, against more costly Italian fabrics”. They will have to pass on costs to the customer creating higher prices which can stop people from purchasing from them.
Brands will have no choice but to produce in the UK.
“Politicians need to step in and help manufacturers win back some of the business that has been lost to globalisation,And luxury brands could drive the change.”
“In recent years many luxury brands have shifted manufacturing away from traditional manufacturing locations to lower-cost regions. Costs have been stripped from the product and switched into advertising and trophy shops – resulting in high fixed costs. This has happened because the customer base has evolved from the small scale very wealthy luxury customer to the much larger scale more marginal aspirational customer. Scale has become important and, as a result of globalisation, this can only be provided by low-cost, overseas manufacturers.”
“Technology investment is also needed. British fabric is high quality but addresses only a small market, mainly men’s formal tailoring. It needs to compete with the luxury of Italian products and the technical performance of Swiss and Japanese materials. I have tried to source from British mills but rarely have found fabrics suitable for modern womenswear.”
“There is also demand for technical fabrics that can wick away sweat, that are crease-resistant, that feel luxurious but are also washable. We have found such fabrics overseas but none in the UK.”