LONDON — The British Fashion Council has teamed with London Business School and Land Securities on a report that highlights guidelines for cultivating creative fashion brands.
Researched and written by Alessandra Basso and Alejandra Caro, M.B.A. students from London Business School, “Commercializing Creativity — Creating a Model for Success for British Fashion Designers” is a 42-page report that delves into key factors and challenges of running a fashion business, which include manufacturing, cost of production, funding and financing. Designers, businesses and industry executives including Burberry, Christopher Kane, Marigay McKee and Matthew Williamson were consulted for the report. It includes case studies focusing on Nicholas Kirkwood and Mary Katrantzou, and Basso and Caro’s views on the success of Jimmy Choo and Stella McCartney.
“British fashion generates 26 billion pounds [$43.75 billion] annually and employs 800,000 people,” said Kaela Fenn-Smith, head of commercial at Land Securities, a firm that partners businesses with retail and commercial spaces. “That insight came from working with a number of fashion brands and, in turn, has inspired us to help more young, designer businesses. By nurturing fashion businesses at the beginning of their lives, we are ultimately investing in our portfolio of the future.”
“Our aim is that this report becomes the first step to mentally changing the mind-set of people starting their own fashion brand, to think more commercially or perhaps realistically from the outset,” said Natalie Massanet, chairman of the British Fashion Council. “We have the most extraordinary talent in the world, here in the U.K., and our young designers’ creativity was an asset that needed to always be at the heart of our industry. It was clear that we must focus on fostering an environment that recognizes and emphasizes the word ‘business.’ In fact, 50 percent of the phrase ‘fashion business’ is business. We need to encourage every young designer coming out of college to think like an entrepreneur and know how to write a business plan and how to get investment. We also hope that this report is the first step to working much more closely with the business schools, particularly London business schools, whose M.B.A. students researched and wrote this report. We hope that their M.B.A. students will become our industry’s future ceo’s.”