In a post-Brexit world, fashion industry puts on a brave face despite … – CNBC

While the decision to leave the European Union may not yet have shown its full wrath on the U.K. economy, fashion designers remain relatively optimistic, believing the industry will weather the storm.

“I’m not worried at all. I think London and British fashion is growing and I think that London is a great city for creativity and I think it’ll be absolutely fine,” fashion designer Anya Hindmarch told CNBC’s Tania Bryer at London Fashion Week.

As the U.K. prepares to trigger Article 50, many companies are still in wait-and-see mode to see how the entire process will impact the U.K.’s economy.

“I think ultimately Brexit is affecting everybody, in one way or another,” said Topshop’s creative director Kate Phelan.

“I think it’s going to pan out and we’re going to see what the results are, but I think in some ways it’s an unknown quantity at this point. No one seems to really know what the impact is going to actually be,” she added.

Over the course of this month’s London Fashion Week — currently in full swing — more than 5,000 guests are set to attend the five-day event, which has over 50 catwalk shows and 32 presentations. Yet while new designs should be the main takeaway, Brexit remains a key topic.

Like many other industries, Brexit has delivered both benefits and dilemmas for fashion in recent months. The weaker pound has helped draw in more tourists and spending to the U.K., and made companies like Mulberry more competitive, its CEO Thierry Andretta told CNBC.

Meanwhile, for businesses that produce and source outside of the U.K. – particularly smaller businesses that haven’t hedged their currency – companies are starting to see squeezes on margins, the chief executive of the British Fashion Council (BFC) Caroline Rush told CNBC on Friday.


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