The Centre for Fashion Enterprise is the pioneering business development platform in London for emerging micro and small (SME) fashion designer businesses. It offers a pipeline of support from early stage through to business incubation, growth programmes and investment readiness and also provides research and consultancy to the industry. With its business support, manufacturing sourcing and quality support and digital teams, CFE has an outstanding track record in long term business success in the designer fashion and high-end brand industries and has incubated some of the most high profile fashion designers including Peter Pilotto, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou and Thomas Tait who have launched their business in the multicultural city of London.
In November 2014 the CFE hosted a one day symposium called Fashion Talks London discussing the future of business support with pan European incubators. At the event we were thinking about the fashion industry narrative and commenting on how some notable designers in London influence not only fashion in UK and EU but are influencing fashion culture and fashion economies around the world. We explored how they are benefiting from this extraordinary platform of creative enterprise in London and an entrepreneurial environment that is visibly making a difference to these designers and giving them their voice.
After a lifetime in the fashion industry, I can see that fashion is not only about aesthetics. It is also about local cultures and how we can bring greater diversity to fashion through exploring new territories in better ways, to arrive at something that is different and more relevant. As a multicultural city we must not forget that every one of us brings our own specific histories, identities and achievements to formulate the collective fashion heritages, opinions and views.
“Fashion” is all about diversity and London thrives on that. It is this diversity that continues to drive fashion trends, aesthetics and new business models. By working differently, with different sensitivities and different people, we are forever unlocking new territories and finding new ways of arriving at a conclusion – something that can bring a new diversity to fashion on an ongoing basis. So the aim is for us to remain invigorated by these connections and really think about what a future development could be if we worked more collaboratively, realising there is no economic value without social value.
The Fashion Industry is about amazing people. It’s about talented people and it’s about connecting people.The idea of a heightened cross-border European collaboration is really interesting. One which has the potential of shaping a powerful pan -European fashion aesthetic for a future global competitiveness – demonstrating a much more collaborative view and a true understanding of the resources available to scale-up which would actually help to release the next level of innovation on a less competitive and more collective European scale.