Fashionista attended an excellent event this evening organised by the newly launched Fashion Business School debating the issues fashion enterpreneurs have to grapple with to succeed in business.
Hosted by Bloomberg, a distinguished panel of guests provided their advice to the fashion labels of the future including: Frances Corner, Head of London College of Fashion and Pro-Vice Chancellor , University of the Arts, London; Guido Rosales, European Integrated Marketing Director, The Coca Cola Company; Anya Hindmarch, Founder and Director of Anya Hindmarch; Sergio Bucher, Vice President Amazon Fashion EU; Carol Bagnald, Senior Executive Director, Commercial and Private Banking HSBC. London and indeed the UK has a rich history of producing some of the best talented designers, but all the panellists agreed fashion start-ups need to marry a focus on numbers with creativity in order to succeed.
The speakers also gave some interesting insights on how the fashion landscape may change. When challenged by an audience member about whether online sales could continue to grow, Hindmarch confirmed that her website currently accounted for 15 % of her total sales and that number was still growing. She predicted that high end stores and department stores will be more about offering consumers new customer experiences than simply places for them to shop, given that many simply prefer the convenience of online shopping.
Sergio Bucher from Amazon confirmed that retailers will need to focus on delivering a great service to survive. He explained that in New York, Amazon has launched a new service called “Prime Now” which offers 20,000 fashion products that are available for delivery free of charge within 2 hours, providing the perfect solution to a last minute wardrobe crisis.
Overall speakers were optimistic about the future of the fashion industry within Britain plc. The industry is already worth £27 billion and there is a wealth of opportunity for UK businesses given the pool of talented creatives studying in London and elsewhere in Britain. Fashionista left the event feeling very inspired and optimistic the contribution the UK can make.