The Fashion Industry in the UK – Introduction
The United Kingdom has a unique fashion industry that represents the largest creative sector with fashion and textile exports alone estimating over £6.5 billion.
The fashion industry is one of the things that makes the United Kingdom appealing and attractive in comparison with other countries.
To see how unique and special the UK fashion industry is, we will delve a little deeper into the industry over the following pages.
Top Fashion Companies
The fashion industry in the United Kingdom employs over 500,000 people in a variety of different sectors.
There are several fashion retailers across the United Kingdom that you should be familiar with in case you decide that you would like to enter the retail business.
UK fashion retailer Next is one of the largest fashion retailers in the Unites Kingdom. The first store opened in 1982 offering exclusive shoes, accessories, and high-end clothing for men and women.
Today, Next trades from over 500 retail locations in the United Kingdom and from 200 stores in 40 countries worldwide.
In addition to their retail stores, Next has launched combination home and fashion stores, mail order operations, and online shopping.
Marks and Spencer
As one of the top fashion retailers in the United Kingdom, Marks and Spencer has annual sales of over £10.3 billion.
This retail giant specialises in selling menswear, womenswear, lingerie, children’s clothing, gifts, food, and even floral.
The Arcadia Group
The third largest fashion company in the United Kingdom is the Arcadia Group, which is a parent company of the retail chains Topman and Topshop. These retailers are currently expanding globally, leading to growth in overall revenue. Arcadia now sees an annual revenue of £2.1 billion.
Burberry is an iconic fashion brand that has a market value of over £4.8 billion. This fashion brand has expanded globally and is popular in the US as well as the United Kingdom.
The famous Burberry check was created in the 1920s and is still used to line trench coats today.
New Look rounds out our list as the fifth largest fashion retailer in the United Kingdom. This retailer began in 1969 as a single fashion store, then quickly grew into a leading brand.
Today, New Look has 501 stores across the United Kingdom and 276 stores throughout Asia, China, and Europe.
Why UK Fashion?
Although the fashion industry is a global market, there is one region that is unrivalled and known for its creativity, flair, and luxurious fashions.
The United Kingdom is unmatched when it comes to producing tailored garments, custom haute couture, and bright, quirky clothing.
Entering the UK fashion industry offers you an exciting opportunity to join an elite group of designers.
Before you do, it is important to understand who you will be designing for and what makes the industry unique. To help you along the way, we will look at what makes British fashion distinctive.
Professionalism and Originality
UK fashion has a unique sense of professionalism and originality that sets it apart and makes it one of the most influential fashion industries in the world.
British fashion is well known for expressing a fearless and individual taste. An example of this might be mixing patterns, prints, and styles, which many people in the United Kingdom effortlessly pull off.
Another key factor that sets British fashion apart is dressing professionally without looking too polished.
This is achieved by mixing and matching style staples with accessories. Also, unlike the US, it is not common to see athletic or casual wear worn out.
The United Kingdom is home to several top fashion designers who can take classic fabrics and styles and innovate them into something uniquely special.
This is how the UK can offer world-class designs in every area, including footwear, accessories, womenswear, and menswear.
Retail and Manufacturing Link
One of the biggest strengths of the UK fashion industry is the strong link between designers and retailers.
Retailers in the UK were the first in the world to bring designer collections onto the streets, making shopping one of the main reasons why tourists visit yearly.