Ambitious plans to make East London the global hub of fashion technology have been announced today at the launch of the capital’s new Fashion District.
The launch of the Fashion District – a new hub for London’s fashion industry aims to return world-leading fashion manufacturing and design to east London with sites in East Bank, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Hackney Wick, Haringey and Poplar. This new hub aims to boost growth through thousands of new jobs, improving skills and training, and the provision of new affordable workspaces.
The Fashion District will turbo-power London’s fashion industry – fashion is currently worth £1.4bn to the east London economy and has seen a rise of more than 10,000 fashion jobs in east London between 2010 and 2015. The work of the Fashion District is predicted to provide a further boost to the area with an additional 15,000 jobs 1.
The new plans unveiled today will build on a long history in fashion manufacturing and legacy in East London to ensure that the area is the centre for fashion education, design, business and technology. Throughout the capital’s history the east end has been at the centre of fashion manufacturing – from silk weaving in Spitalfields to all the work of the seamstresses and tailors. Currently 23 per cent of the capital’s fashion enterprises and employment are based in east London, and this new hub will support further growth through training and provision of technology used in fashion production – 3D printing, laser cutting, interactive and wearable fabrics – and design software.
Plans for the Fashion District will:
• Create 15,000 new jobs and provide skills, training, apprenticeships and paid internships for local Londoners.
• Ensure local people are able to develop the production and technical skills that the industry needs - in the next five years, fashion businesses will need to recruit for up to 60,000 vacancies2.
• Help local young Londoners into the fashion industry through with more than 2,000 training opportunities and 100 apprenticeship opportunities.
• Bring 5,500 students from the London College of Fashion together in one campus in East Bank.
• Provide over 7,000 sqm of fashion spaces funded by the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund including:
• 32 new affordable studios at The Trampery Fish Island Village. Tenants will be able to access a fully-equipped sampling suite along with venues for catwalk shows, presentations and sample sales.
• New manufacturing space and studios from the conversion of disused garages at Poplar Works, Tower Hamlets. Led by Poplar HARCA, The Trampery and London College of Fashion, UAL, the scheme will create a new training space for fashion enterprise - with 3,404 sqm of affordable workspace funded by the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund and London Regeneration Fund.
• Fashion Enter's Tailoring Academy in Haringey will kick start alternative routes into fashion careers through apprenticeships in technical skills, again funded by the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund.
• Stimulate innovation, provide business support and access to fashion technology – including 3D printing, laser cutting, interactive and wearable fabrics and design software.
This brand-new approach comes as the result of an innovative collaboration by London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, the British Fashion Council (BFC), UK Fashion and Textiles, the Mayor of London, London Legacy Development Corporation (LDDC), Unibail Rodamco-Westfield, Poplar HARCA, The Trampery, Fashion Enter, Here East, Newham College, and the London Boroughs of Hackney, Haringey, Newham, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets.
Launching in the heart of East London in designer Christopher Raeburn’s studio, the vision for the Fashion District was presented by speeches from Professor Frances Corner OBE, Head of London College of Fashion, Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of the Arts and Chair of the Fashion District, Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, and Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council.
The launch of the Fashion District builds on the Mayor’s vision for East Bank – a £1.1bn investment at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park bringing together a powerhouse of culture and education for innovation and growth across East London.
Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, said: “It is more important than ever that we show the world that London is at the heart of the global fashion industry – with talented designers, technological innovation, leading fashion colleges and major brands. The Fashion District will generate thousands of jobs in the area, train young Londoners for a career in this growing industry, and pave the way for growth and innovation.”
Professor Frances Corner, Pro Vice-Chancellor UAL and Head of London College of Fashion said:
“London needs to act now if it wants to stay at the forefront of the fashion tech revolution. Emerging businesses only grow with significant support in skills, advocacy, innovation and investment. That’s what the Fashion District will bring. I am particularly delighted the London Boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Haringey, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest have pledged their
support. Working with London Boroughs will accelerate the development of space and business support for SMEs and attracting light manufacturing to east London.”
Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council said: “The British Fashion Council welcomes the launch of the Fashion District who are putting technology and innovation at the heart of their ambitions and aim to build a pipeline for young local talent, alongside supporting London’s emerging and established designers. Their aim to foster new innovative brands while making British talent more visible on the global stage is aligned with the BFC’s mission to cement London’s position as a global leader in fashion, innovation and business.”
Christopher Raeburn, British Fashion Designer said: “I hope East London will become more and more vibrant through its communiy and creativity. I really hope we’ll keep seeing makers of all scales move into the area – to either grow what they’re currently doing, or start a new business.”
Myf Ryan – CMO Europe and Group Director of Brand and Strategic Marketing for Unibail Rodamco-Westfield said: “Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is delighted to support the Fashion District and we are excited to announce that we will be launching an industry innovation challenge together in early 2019 and a schools innovation challenge later in 2019. We look forward to collaborating together to inspire people within the fashion industry and tap into the imagination of local children and young people.”
Paul Stephen, Principal and Chief Executive, Newham College of Further Education said: “The Fashion District model for developing fashion skills in east London will create a talent pipeline so that the fashion industry can access the skilled workforce it needs to thrive, and east Londoners can develop great careers in fashion. We have a pivotal moment in East London for training providers to work closely with industry to nurture a new generation of technically skilled resilient young people with fresh ideas, and to usher in a new era of fashion.”
Lyn Garner, Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation said: “The Fashion District encapsulates what we’re doing on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: bringing together a cluster of exciting organisations to collaborate and innovate – and at the same time, nurturing local talent and generating new jobs for east Londoners. The growth in the Fashion industry represents a real opportunity for London, and we will be investing in local people and local businesses to make sure this is a real success.”
The Fashion District is a collaborative partnership between London College of Fashion, UAL, Greater London Authority (GLA), British Fashion Council (BFC) UK Fashion and Textiles (UKFT), Unibail Rodamco-Westfield, London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), Poplar HARCA, The Trampery, Fashion Enter, Newham College, Here East, London Fashion Fund, alongside the London Boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Haringey, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets.
1. BOP Consulting, 2017
2. OC&C strategy Consultants and the Fashion Retail Academy (2017). Fast Forwarding Fashion - https://www.occstrategy.com/en-us/news-and-media/2016/09/fast-forward-fashion
Media looking for further information should contact Rebecca Munro [email protected]
Follow #FashionDistrictLDN on social