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London Fashion Week: Massenet unveils ambitious plans to boost fashion sector

Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet launched her first London Fashion Week as chairman by unveiling an ambitious plan to boost the UK’s fashion sector.

The plan will focus on five pillars: investment, education, innovation, digital and reputation, and has the backing of Ed Vaisey, the government minister for the fashion industry.

The BFC will be talking to businesses within the industry to get support for the plan, and Marks & Spencer was announced this morning as the first official partner in a ‘Best of British’ initiative expected to centre on UK manufacturing as well as UK design and retail.

Speaking before the first show of this season’s LFW at Somerset House, Massenet, who had just jetted in from New York Fashion Week, spoke of the “palpable and growing” excitement that now surrounds LFW in the global fashion market and referred to London as “the most exciting fashion capital in the world”.

“We certainly have the talent,” she added. “And we now need to take a holistic 365-day view of sustainable growth through investment, education, innovation and business.”

The BFC’s chief executive Caroline Rush said the organisation had already been talking to possible partners in detail about the plan, including a “leading business school” which is looking into the possibility of launching an MBA in High Fashion and Luxury. She also said the BFC’s remit would be enlarged to focus on UK manufacturing and textiles.

Vaisey welcomed the move, saying: “The British fashion industry is worth 10s of billions of pounds every year to the UK economy and is putting this country on the map.”      

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