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UK has many prominent colleges for fashion and textile; hence this creates a feisty scenario. What message would you like to give to the young aspiring creative minds?
I think it is a tough time to break into any industry at the moment but if you come into the industry with an open mind, creativity and the will to work hard make the most of every opportunity then you are off to a good start.
Another important element to thrive in this industry is to be able to mix creativity with commerciality as well as a really keen understanding of fibre, fabric and apparel production. Most of all strive to innovate, find a way to stand out and choose the best materials you possibly can to work with.
How do you see the purchasing confidence of consumers as well as how much they are keen to spend on their lifestyle?
I think there are some distinct differences for different consumer groups. Younger shoppers still want newness and to follow trends but their income is not huge - particularly graduates struggling to find work. More affluent shoppers are looking for quality over price and want key investment pieces.
The older shopper is a very big market, which is getting bigger and this consumer has the largest disposable income and demands the best. This generation is also getting to grips with technology such as the i-Pad to use for researching and purchasing their fashion.
Can you please brief us about UKFT’s convention with Paul Smith? What would be the crux story in context to this gathering?
UKFT organises CEO breakfasts each year with different keynote speakers. We are delighted that Sir Paul Smith is speaking this month about his experiences in the industry. He is a fantastically engaging speaker and a shining example of a British fashion business that is sought after worldwide. These breakfasts are also a great informal way to network with industry peers.
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