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London Eye, Union Jack, River Thames, Westminster

Directory Blog

Sima Kumar Evening Standard, Business of Fashion...

How a Hard Brexit Will Impact Fashion’s Bottom Line

London Eye, Union Jack, River Thames, Westminster

Photo by Dylan Nolte on Unsplash

It’s no secret the fashion industry was nearly 90% in favour of remain when it came to the 2016 referendum on Brexit. The people voted and since then the messy break up and inability to negotiate the UK’s way out of the EU has become known the world over.

At Directory, the biggest question is, what does this mean for the candidate pool? Most of which is made up EU Nationals. Even the team in the Directory office 60% non Brits. Prominent fashion professionals such as Imran Amed, founder of Business of Fashion and José Neves are vocally against Brexit. Neves, founder of luxury online retailer Farfetch was quoted in the Evening Standard from the 2018 Web Summit in Lisbon, ‘We have 25 different nationalities in our London office. If [Brexit] jeopardises that, it’ll be a major loss.’ The full Evening Standard article can be found here.

For fashion recruitment it means a drastic dwindling of talent. From shop assistants to stockroom staff to managerial positions, recruiters are already seeing numbers dwindle which impacts agency business as well as client business. Candidates who were once considering London as the go to city to start their fashion careers are trepidatious. The daily televised chaos does nothing to abate worry either. Those already in London are considering leaving for Berlin, Frankfurt and Milan. This exodus of a talent hits the front line of fashion which ultimately impacts the bottom line. Perhaps most succinctly summed up is a quote by stylist Tamara Cincik who set up Fashion Roundtable to make sure the industry’s concerns were heard. ‘Fishing makes £1.4 billion for the UK economy, fashion almost £30 billion, but we only hear about cod,’ 


Fashion Hates Brexit t-shirt by Katherine Hamnett
Image: via Katherine Hamnett