DREAM BIG: Newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set on exiting the European Union come January and fashion companies across the U.K. — which have mainly been advocating for the “Remain” campaign and against Johnson’s Tory party — are fearing potential increased tariffs and decreased movement of talent to and from the U.K.
But the British government is trying to stay optimistic and has just unveiled its new “Great Britain” campaign, one of its biggest international marketing efforts. As part of the campaign, the government is spearheading an initiative dubbed “Dream Big,” which aims to spotlight the “wealth of fashion talent nurtured by U.K. universities” and encourage global brands to look to the U.K. for their next hires.
As part of the initiative, the government partnered with Graduate Fashion Week, a showcase of up-and-coming talent in the U.K., to tap into its pool of young designers, models, hair and makeup artists and stylists.
A group of students and graduates chosen by Graduate Fashion Week appears in a campaign video, filmed in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. They are featured fitting models, cutting patterns and sewing feathers on dresses. Zandra Rhodes and the journalist Hilary Alexander, who are both Graduate Fashion Week patrons, have cameo appearances alongside the young talent in the film — Rhodes is pictured laying in a bed of colorful, patterned pillows and dreaming, while Alexander is being served a cocktail made out of petals.
“This video campaign is a great opportunity for six of our final-year hair and makeup students and 10 select fashion and styling graduates to work with industry and showcase their talent to the world. These young creatives are at the forefront of a generation who will revolutionize the way we design, manufacture and wear our garments. Whether it is addressing the world’s plastic crisis or exploring new scientific techniques, our universities and students are setting the standard for a sustainable future,” Alexander said.
Liz Truss, secretary of state for the Department for International Trade, also pointed to the financial weight of the industry that led the government to put fashion at the forefront of its campaign: “The industry is booming, creating 890,000 jobs and contributing 32 billion pounds to the U.K. economy. There is no better place in the world for businesses to unearth the next generation of stars.”