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Talking Business: 'EU migration benefits the UK fashion industry'

Lina Lundén is women’s jerseywear designer at high street chain Jigsaw.

Lina Lundén

Lina Lundén

As a fashion designer of almost eight years now, I have spent the past three living and working in London. During my time in the UK, there has been a lot of debate about the perceived problem of migrant workers within the EU, not to mention a prime minister who wants to hold a referendum on exiting the union. I am Swedish and we have similar debates about migration over there.

However, I have been thinking lately about how important it has been in my life, and to so many others in creative fields, to be able to move and work freely within the EU. People tend to forget that so many migrants are just people with careers that, in a modern, global society, are built in various countries across the world.

I believe I am a typical example. I started studying fashion design at [French private fashion school] Esmod in Paris, and then moved back home to Sweden to do my bachelor’s degree in fashion design at Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm. After graduating

I spent some months in Berlin, then I worked for H&M in Stockholm for five years before moving to London looking for a new challenge.

I’m now women’s jerseywear designer at Jigsaw, and since I started in January 2013 I’ve been part of an amazing journey. We have all worked hard in the design team to drive the design aesthetic in a more contemporary direction, reclaiming Jigsaw’s heritage as a brand to watch. This year, that resulted in it winning a Drapers Award for Best Fashion Retail Business of the Year (Under £125m Turnover).Here I am - a Swedish designer working for one of Britain’s most iconic brands. And almost everyone I know in London has a similar story; we see the world as our playing field and we’ve built our lives moving and working between various countries. I believe it is essential for the fashion industry in the UK and the rest of Europe to remain open.

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