Time to buy British says fashion expert as knickers expand in Manchester and designers seek out specialist manufacturers. Guest blogger Georgina Ryall reports
Designer Amanda Wakeley, who has dressed the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Dita von Teese and the Duchess of Cambridge said she wants to buy British products to use in her collections and does so wherever she can.
Speaking at the launch of her Spring/Summer collection at Harvey Nichols in Leeds she said: “I’ve found a British tannery to do our bridle leather because we do things like that really well.”
“We do all of our beautiful bridle leather belts here, we do our sheepskins here wherever we can and we do some of our wedding dresses in the UK.”
But, Wakeley says it isn’t always easy. “Sadly, we’ve really, really diminished our manufacturing industry in this country, I find it hugely disappointing.
“I’d much rather support British and I’d love to see a resurgence of British manufacturing but it will take time for people to learn those skills.”
Wakeley’s comments follow similar recent statements from leading figures in the retail industry.
Sir Philip Green, retail entrepreuner in charge of the Arcadia group, whose brands include Topshop and Miss Selfridge plans to establish his own manufacturing academy to provide youngsters with a more vocational route into the fashion industry.
And the ‘Queen of Shops’ herself, Mary Portas has had to take on extra staff to cope with demand following the launch of her British underwear production line, ‘Kinky Knickers’ earlier this year. The underwear line was a product of her TV series, ‘Bottom Line’ which funded the reopening of a textile factory near Manchester where she restarted the production of high quality underwear and took on staff and apprentices.
* Get all the latest news and interviews on the Buy British campaign at www.makeitbritish.co.uk.
See the story on The Guardian website here
Full interview feature in this month’s print issue of URBAN COCO fashion magazine