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Ignorance is Ingenuity

Published by Tom Vino on 25-Mar-2013 Industry, Fashion
Tags: industry, Tom Vino

The halt to what has no doubt been a highly anticipated season for the world industries confirms one thing – end of the fashion weeks at least for this season. The world settles into a deep, dark and unforgivingly ingenious sleep as the designers return to their workshops and the buyers are promptly awaiting to place orders ready to interpret what we have alarmingly come to call ‘fashion’ into commercially viable products that we the ignorant consumers will one day soon lust to have as we press tightly against the transparently clear windows of retail domination.

Take the UK market for instance, much like others around the world it is still struggling to return to the norms of pre-recession, we as a society are all too aware of the dangers of over spending and have never been so vigilant and preoccupied with the idea of investment. And investment is as powerful word in today’s society as it is dangerous, just as dangerous as the designers’ creations themselves that can make it or not in our cruel world - whatever this 'it' is. One thing clear is that none of it would be possible without the investment to back up the venture. This is a significant point to reflect upon, because much like high fashion advertising campaigns what the vying cities of New York, London, Milan and Paris attempt to secure is the biggest investment for their market through the hosted fashion weeks.

London has established a prosperous platform for those involved within the industry, it hosts an envious list of designers and fashion institutions that had previously trained them now eager to develop the talent drawn in by universal appeal, from Central Saint Martins to the recently unveiled Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design it seems the city has never been so proud to develop its home grown talent of future. What makes London such a viable source of nutrition for fashion is the creative talent that it produces year upon year, with the ever increasing purchasing power of the buyers heightened somewhat by the depreciating sterling the UK based designers have once again this year found themselves at the mercy of buyers and press ready to be picked like ripen fruit. The city is host to over 100 designers showcasing during the bi-annual fashion week encouraging the spending of buyers from over 30 countries that equates to orders over £100m placed exclusively during the week. The booming industry is supported by some 850,000 employees that aid to generate the £22 billion revenue that fashion industry directly brings to the UK economy yearly (£37 billion indirectly), operative across a wide spectrum of roles and opportunities that not only allows but encourages development and nurture of our talents – expansion of the industry also addresses the critical concerns of future employment opportunities for the next generation.

From the figures provided in reflection to our economic status we can safely see how consumers’ aesthetic tastes have over the years been refined like a palette of a fine diner, we may still be in recession but the consumers are not reluctant to spend and invest. And the figures back this up, for the year 2012 fashions contribution was estimated to be 25% of all retail sales in the UK, its contribution to the UK GDP is almost equal to that of the real estate sector – now that is a fact we cannot ignore. Yes, like most industries we still face tough times, there are business skill gaps we are to fill and we are not out of recession by a long way. The spending on our part must continue if we are to maintain investment and growth of our markets and thus our economy.

However the key to the success of our economy ironically is ignorance on our behalf, we must continue to spend and invest and most certainly we must not take into account the improving performance of the fashion industry despite the capricious economic climate - for if you were told a beggar on the street was earning same as you, would you still generously give them your change?
“Fashion is not beautiful, neither it is ugly.
Why should is be either? Fashion is Fashion.”
– A.W.

Tom Vino has recently finished his degree in History of Art and has over the last 3 years worked across various fashion buying departments.

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