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Tempting exchange rate adds value to LFW

Peter Lucas

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of British fashion brands have participated in major shows in Europe and the US to boost their export sales - and they are definitely holding their own in these tough times.

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of British fashion brands have participated in major shows in Europe and the US to boost their export sales - and they are definitely holding their own in these tough times.

Next week the word ‘exports’ takes on a new meaning, with the start of London Fashion Week, as the capital opens its doors to increased numbers of international buyers looking to source great British fashion.

Due to the favourable exchange rate, London retailers have benefitted from an influx of tourists. Now buyers, driven by the same economic factor, will be searching out British designs. Pre-registrations for London Fashion Week, which is organised by the British Fashion Council, as well as Pure London and Moda UK, are high and the mood is upbeat.

The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT), which helps UK exporters show at more than 20 Paris Fashion Week events, including Tranoï Femme, Atmosphères, Première Classe and MeMy Mode, will take more than 250 companies to Paris Fashion Week and the Paris showrooms so international buyers can check out the new collections there as well. More designers are also introducing pre-collections that enable them to show their new looks to overseas buyers earlier in the season and this has proved successful for those that exhibited in Paris, Berlin and Florence at the beginning of the year. This is encouraging buyers to come to London to see the catwalk shows and visit their retail shops.

However, knowing the best place to show a collection is a dilemma designers and brands continually face. The UKFT researches and attends key events and provides companies with an independent view of the shows so decision-makers can make the best use of their budgets. This is just one of the benefits of UKFT membership.

Peter Lucas is chairman of the UK Fashion & Textile Association

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