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Team GB has a cheerleader in Green

Jessica Brown

Trade may still be extremely difficult both across the country and in London (last weekend’s sunshine drove shoppers into their gardens rather than into spring fashions) but a few bright spots did emerge for the sector this week.

Trade may still be extremely difficult both across the country and in London (last weekend’s sunshine drove shoppers into their gardens rather than into spring fashions) but a few bright spots did emerge for the sector this week.

Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green is plotting a fashion manufacturing academy in the guise of his super-successful Fashion Retail Academy to help train young people in the lost art of making garments (p3). His proposal supports Drapers’ Save Our Skills (SOS) campaign, which launched in February to help UK manufacturers. His efforts are to be commended but he will need support from industry, including financial, if the Government is to be persuaded to put a hand in its firmly buttoned patch pockets too. Help in any way you can.

Meanwhile, design colleges have been forced to put their fees up. London College of Fashion, one of the most prestigious fashion training grounds in the world, will raise its tuition fees to a whopping £9,000 a year from September 2012. There are too many design graduates so a drop-off would be good but expenses like that are prohibitive. It would be a shocker for the next Lee Alexander McQueen to slip through the net as a result and for our teaching talents to spend all of their energy educating wealthy foreign students only for them to head home having gained further competitive advantage. Industry-funded grants for talent must be created.

Finally, there are 468 days, or 65 trading Saturdays, until the opening ceremony of the London Olympics 2012. If you haven’t started planning what to sell, how to sell it, where to sell it and who to sell it to, then fire the starting gun now. Find out how in our special issue this week, starting on p20.

Jessica Brown Executive editor

 

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