Fashion Foundry Launched (14/09/2012)
10 of Scotland’s most promising fashion designers to benefit from new initiative.
Fashion Foundry, a new initiative led by Cultural Enterprise Office, Scotland's specialist provider of business support to creative micro businesses and cultural practitioners, in association with Wasps Studios, was launched today, Friday 14 September 2012, at South Block in Glasgow’s Merchant City. Over the next 18 months it will support 10 of Scotland’s most promising fashion designers to develop their businesses so as to target the lucrative luxury market both at home and overseas.
Fashion is a global market place and even in the current economic climate the international luxury designer market is increasing at around 34% a year with the Asia Pacific region hungry for luxury goods made in the UK. Applications to be part of the Fashion Foundry programme were invited from designers with the potential to develop products for this growing market. The 10 successful companies span the full range of fashion design from millinery to menswear, bespoke luggage to textiles and knitwear. They include a women’s wear designer, one of whose creations has been worn by Lady Gaga; a men’s knitwear designer selected by leading global fashion trend forecaster WGSN’s for its Generation Now directory; a hat designer who was nominated for international milliner of the year award in 2009; a women’s knitwear designer who has already broken into the Asian and American markets; and a women’s wear designer who has worked alongside Julien MacDonald the then Head Designer at Paris fashion house Givenchy. For details of the designers see Notes for Editors.
Launching the initiative, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:
“Scotland is a creative nation with a vibrant textiles industry - underpinned by quality, diversity, innovation and design - which supports 9,300 jobs and directly contributes £314 million to the Scottish economy.”
“The Cultural Enterprise Office’s Fashion Foundry will give ten of our best emerging fashion and textile designers the entrepreneurial skills, business knowledge and commercial opportunities they need to expand into key markets. I am delighted to launch this innovative scheme in this, our Year of Creative Scotland.”
Joining the Culture Secretary at the launch was one of Scotland’s leading Fashion designers, Deryck Walker, who is currently also working with a new generation of designers at the celebrated Glasgow School of Art. Deryck will help mentor some of the Fashion Foundry designers bringing his own extensive experience of the fashion business to the initiative. He said
“Scotland has a rich seam of fashion talent, but many of our designers have yet to make the most of the luxury goods market. With increasing discernment in the Asia Pacific area, particularly the growing Chinese middle class, there is a great opportunity for these designers to create quality, affordable luxury goods that will appeal to this important consumer group.
I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with some of the Fashion Foundry designers to help them define and refine their brands, and to get the quality of Scottish fashion recognised in new and lucrative markets.”
Over the next 18 months each of the businesses will receive specialist support tailored to their individual business needs which will be delivered by a team of industry specialists. A selection of fashion designers have also been given access to subsidized studio space at South Block, a creative hub where they will work alongside more than 100 designers, architects and other creative entrepreneurs.
Fashion Foundry has been made possible by a £150,000 investment from Creative Scotland Wasps Studios and Scottish Enterprise.
Caroline Parkinson, Director of Creative Development, Creative Scotland said: “Talent incubators like the Fashion Foundry are an important contribution to our support for emerging entrepreneurs, offering specialist expertise, mentoring and business planning to promising fashion and textile designers, allowing them to develop their career and lay the foundations for future success.”