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BFC’s Caroline Rush urges investment in domestic talent

The chief executive of the British Fashion Council, Caroline Rush, has called for UK businesses to invest in home-grown brands.

Speaking at a Westminster Media Forum fashion seminar in London this week, Rush said she was proud that the likes of Christopher Kane, JW Anderson and Nicholas Kirkwood had attracted attention from French conglomerates Kering and LVMH.

But while she acknowledged these brands were keeping a British base and thus local employment, Rush said the BFC was keen to encourage more investment in labels nurtured in the UK.

She said: “We are incredibly proud of those businesses. Of course, we would love to have more British businesses investing [in them] and we’ll be working on developing that.”

This is a key part of the BFC’s five-pillar plan for the next three years, which comprises investment, education, innovation, digital and reputation, as it looks to enhance commercialism within British design.

Under the influence of chairman and Net-A-Porter founder Natalie Massenet, the BFC, which organises London Fashion Week, is also keen to support fashion tech start-ups, and Rush emphasised the BFC’s plan to “future-proof the talent pipeline” by pushing the Government to focus on business education and training for students and graduates.

The body is working with Google to target students via social media and encourage them to pursue careers within the fashion industry.

Rush also hopes to encourage luxury labels such as Burberry and Mulberry to publicise the different roles behind the scenes in fashion.

“We don’t want manufacturing seen as a second-rate job,” she said.


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