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The numbers behind the British fashion history

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: February 01, 2014

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GOT any idea how much the world of designer and couture fashion brings into the UK economy every year?

Or who the highest-paid British model was at the end of 2013?

Thankfully, House of Fraser has done the hard work and has come up with some astounding industry figures which are sure to knock you off your Manolo Blahniks!

To celebrate the arrival of London Fashion Week, which takes place from February 14-18, the British retailer decided to get its calculators out and do some serious number crunching. And my, are you going to be amazed.

Saying that, is it any wonder that an industry that contributes more than £20.9 billion to the economy – that’s twice as much as the publishing and car manufacturing industries put together – employs 11 per cent of the UK workforce?

Or that £100 million worth of orders are placed during London Fashion Week alone? Who says we’re still enduring the aftermath of a recession!?

While we might be inundated with news stories declaring that the retail industry is on its knees as consumers have less and less to spend, that’s hard to imagine when you consider that £2.5 billion is spent annually on designer clothing in the UK.

The British retail industry is also a major source of employment, with around 2.9 million people working in this sector, while the world of designer fashion pays for the bills for more than 816,000 creative individuals.

Asked to think of the fashion capitals of the world, and what do you come up with? Paris. Milan. And, of course, London. The likes of Stella McCartney, Dame Vivienne Westwood and Victoria Beckham do their fair share for the British tourism industry. In 2013, it’s estimated that the world of fashion alone generated £98 million for UK tourism.

Those talented individuals in the industry will be working feverishly in anticipation for the upcoming fashion week, which is set to take place from February 14 to 18.

The international event will showcase the work of 223 designers, 80 of whom – including Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood and House of Holland – will be unveiling new collections across the 76 shows scheduled for the event. If you’re planning on attending, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with the 5,000-strong crowd of buyers, journalists, photographers and media crews expected to attend, with coverage estimated to exceed £100 million.

Twitter mentions are by no means any less impressive, with LFW 2013 generating 199,050 hashtags from the fashion lovers, with Burberry the most tweeted-about label.

And in case you couldn’t work it out for yourself: Kate Moss was the highest-paid model last year, raking in £3.5 million. I mean come on – who else do you think it could be?

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