Fashion brands have begun returning to the United Kingdom as consumers have started to embrace the trend of ‘disco chic’ and the UK is no exception, according to the head of the UK’s fashion industry.
The country’s Fashion Institute, which oversees the fashion industry, announced plans to open a ‘fashion-focused’ department at its headquarters in London this year.
“The UK has had a very strong fashion sector over the past 20 years,” said Joanna Taylor, the institute’s director general.
“But there is still a need for new voices to emerge and for people to see what the fashion world is doing to bring this new style to life.”
The institute has already announced a new department at a new office building on the edge of the capital.
It is to focus on “fashion-based and design-led innovation,” said Taylor.
But there are many fashion brands looking for a new home in the UK.
There are five new fashion brands that have been approved for opening a fashion-focused department in London, according the fashion institute.
They are Bella Collective, which has just announced a department at the offices of designer Sophie Ellis; Puma, which is planning a fashion department in the new Covent Garden shopping centre; Temptalia, which opened its first London office in March; and Mango, which just launched a new London store in Canary Wharf.
All five of the new fashion-based brands are working with the fashion institutes London office to find a new location.
In addition to the new departments, the fashion department will also work with a London-based designer to develop and present new collections, said Taylor, who is also the head designer of Bella Collective.
While fashion brands are opening stores in the capital, they are also beginning to open other locations in other countries, said Katie Stemper, the head fashion designer at Puma.
For instance, Bella Collective opened its London store at Canary Wharf earlier this month, and Puma has announced a London store that will open later this year at the National Portrait Gallery.
A spokesperson for Puma said that its London retail store will be the first of its kind to open in London.
According to the Fashion Institute’s Taylor, it is too early to say if the fashion and fashion-led department will help the fashion sector in the future.
However, Taylor believes that the trend will help “a lot of designers in the fashion business.”
“If it can help change the way people think about fashion, then I think that will be a really positive thing,” she said.
Taylor also believes that there is potential for fashion to become more mainstream, with the UK becoming a major destination for brands.
“We are starting to see that in the clothing industry and I think we are going to see a much wider range of things,” she added.
British Fashion Trends in 2016: