Fashion Roundtable Minutes – Brexit and the Fashion Industry Roundtable
Date - Wednesday 13th December
Time: 3.30pm – 5.30pm
Location: Push PR, The Arts Building, Morris Place, London, N4 3JG
Tamara Cincik – Fashion Roundtable
Karen Binns - Fashion Roundtable
Portia Shaw – Pop PR
Claudio Napolitano – Today Management
Katharine Hamnett CBE – Katharine Hamnett
Illishio Lovejoy – Katharine Hamnett
Sarah Mower MBE – Sarah Mower
Cheryl Jumbo – BBFA
Frederica Boateng – LCF & Regents College
Hannah Jackson McCartney – HJ-M
Nick Vinson – Vinson & Co
Kellie Dalton – Freelance
Jack Tindale – Policy Connect
Derin Adebiyi – ISM #FreeMoveCreate
Guy Bilgorri – Design Council
Jodi Muter-Hamilton – Black Neon Digital
Nika Mokhtassi – Paradise Row
Daniel Lee – BEIS
Elizabeth Lane – DCMS – Head of Sector Intelligence
Jack Karet - DCMS – Head of Creative Industries
Zoe Lem – Slingshot London
Norma Ellis – BBFA
Kate Wicklow – Guild HE
- Welcome and general introduction by Tamara Cincik
- Around the table short introductions by all attendees
- Introduction to first speak by Tamara
Speaker 1 - Jack Tindale from Policy Connect
Gave general overview of question - where are we at with Brexit negotiations today?
• There is a real tendency by both Leave/Remain camps to rely on reports from media as an information source.
• UK media tend to grossly exaggerate positions of European Commission and European Parliament (positively and negatively but mostly the latter).
• Encourages people to look to EU new sources for a more balanced view e.g. La Monde
• After MP had breakthrough with Junker, ‘sufficient progress’ was made to move from Phase 1 negotiations to Phase 2 where future relationship with EU/UK will be decided.
• Next 8 months will determine what transition period, after March 30thth 2019 will look like. Transition period will last roughly 2 years for core functions. Bodies such as the European Court of Justice can take up to 8 years so UK will mostly likely leave the EU in its entirely in mid-2020’s.
• It is vital that all sectors are abundantly clear about what their future will be when UK leaves EU.
• Fashion industry needs to beat its own drum about freedom of movement and goods/services.
• Official opposition have the same stance as government on leaving the single market/leaving the customs union.
• Norther Ireland will have no hard border - there must be a guarantee of a completely frictionless situation (Good Friday agreement). Likely outcomes:
1. Least likely - frictionless movement between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland/UK (common travel agreement will exist).
2. Set of bi-lateral deals e.g. agriculture, freedom of goods and services (raw materials) - very complex regulatory requirements.
• Republic of Ireland has invested in 1000+ custom and excise officers. There are new technologies to police borders but they are not in use at present.
Question - from Katharine Hamnett about the massive issue of flood of goods into Ireland then into UK?
JT: No formal arrangements have been made to combat this yet, there is a need for a regulatory system at point of entry from NI to UK.
Speaker 2: Nick Vinson – Vinson & Co
• UK industry is fuelled by power of our creativity.
• Many great ‘British designers’ e.g. Roksanda IIincic, Mary Katrantzou, Simoen Rocha, Peter Pilotto are not from the UK.
• Jonathan Anderson, London based, Northern-Irish designer, trained in the UK is Creative Director of Madrid based leather-goods house Loewe, LVMH also have a stake in his successful label J.W. Anderson.
• Paris and Milan are full of British born, British trained talent – Phoebe Philo at Celine, Chloe’s Clare Waight Keller and they bring hundreds more with them on design teams that are educated in the UK.
• Italy’s strength is in Manufacturing, Marketing and Distribution, Design Education is a weakness. It is however a strength in UK.
• Father of French couture is Englishman Charles Fredrick Worth.
• Hermes, founder migrated from Germany to France.
• The first store Louis Vuitton opened was outside France in UK.
• Antwerp 6 rented a truck and drove to London in 1986 to show their collections London Fashion Week.
• Maison Margiela is now owned by Renzo Rosso (Italian) and British John Galliano is Creative Director.
• Brands that are based in London, show in Paris and sell out of showrooms in Paris or Milan, order are not taken in London.
• The list goes on but it shows that fashion is an entirely interconnected, international family, everything is knotted together.
• Being able to hire the best talent will keep an industry at the top of its game, talent is essential for the UK fashion industry. It is central to making brands work.
• Creativity and innovation are the driving forces and if you the industry’s ability to educate properly and hire freely that will suffer. Creativity is the key to the industry’s survival. UK is renowned as a creative place to come from. Freedom of movement is the reason the industry is fantastically creative.
• The industry is not just made up of top-tier fashion brand, the creative part of the industry is not just the designers. It is more than people just selling dresses, it is a wide-range of extraordinarily talented people; hair stylists, make-up artists, photographers, events production, catering companies, supply chain the list goes on.
• British make-up artist Pat McGrath (can bring 50 assistants to a show), has own make-up line that sells through Sephora and is set to become major international make-up business in next 5 years. Pat hired Michael Nash for packaging design, the paper they prefer to use comes James Cropper.
• Being able to trade freely is massively important - doesn’t require much explanation.
• Simplicity to trading with Europe, simplicity makes it easy to focus on what you are good at; designing, creating.
• Quotas are a worry, issues with price competitively (you can’t ask wholesalers to shave off their margin, meaning it comes out of your pocket and there is less money to re-invest). Always someone who can be more competitive and more commercial.
• The industry massively underplays its economic value e.g. Net-a-Porter, Matches, Farfetch have led in digital internationally from the UK.
Speaker 3: Jack Karet - Head of Creative Industries for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
DCMS works with Creative Industries through:
1. Engagement and dialogue (with nine creative industries). Engage with fashion industry through the British Fashion Council. Fashion is the one Creative Industry DCMS struggles the most to get out and speak to; brand time and resources for engagement are barriers to communication, also freelance culture is an issue.
2. Ensuring that the outputs from this consultation are fed into policy discussions across government that impact the Creative Industries
3. Developing in-house policies.
4. On commissioned projects from governments e.g. Home Office Study - migration advisory committee - BFC submitted for that report.
• Creative Industries are growing twice as fast as economy as a whole.
• From a policy point of view, the Creative Industries are radicals in government.
• There are parallels with the Advertising industry, freedom of movement talent wise, as well as fashion journalism.
• Elizabeth, from Jacks team focusing on researching EU exit issues for Creative Industries. Doing evidence gathering – building a broad a picture as possible of priorities for Creative Industries.
• Formalised engagement: Creative Industries Council (meets quarterly) has ministerial support. Fashion is represented by Caroline Rush, British Fashion Council plus reps from other trade bodies, digital reps e.g. Facebook.
• We are aware that we haven't heard from fashion industry as much as we have from other sectors, which is why we are keen to work with Fashion Roundtable and hear your views.
Tamara Cincik: Can Fashion Roundtable become a part of Creative Industries Council? Can submission request be submitted to us? We need more gateways in and out of government.
Jack Karet and Elizabeth Lane: Will explore how we ensure that the fashion industry is represented through the Creative Industries Council and it’s sub groups. Will involve Fashion Roundtable in these conversations.
Katharine Hamnett: There is a lot of focus on talent and freedom of movement which is important but biggest threat comes from leaving the customer union, single-market, import duty on finished goods will be the biggest issue.
Speaker 3: Daniel Lees - BEIS - Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: BEIS has responsibility for Retail sector and 20+ other sectors. There are 35+ sectors represented by other government depts.
Retail have already been engaged on a number of Brexit issues but BEIS have only just started speaking on some issues in more detail, such as mobility, as responsibility for the sector has recently moved within BEIS.
*Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) looks after Retail. Designer fashion is looked after by DCMS*.
Jack Karet: We have only started as before Brexit, there was no need to. Concerns usually centred around manufacturing, the skills gap, model’s health. Fashion industry was huge success without government involvement. DCMS team has tripled in size over last year to engage the Creative Industries, including fashion.
Sir Peter Bazalgette commissioned by PM to write a report to creative industries. The result was an independent report rather reflecting his views rather than the views of the Creative Industries.
Tamara: It was very TV heavy, understandable perhaps given his background.
Jack Karet: .In response to Nick’s points, magazines are an excellent example of interconnectivity of Creative Industries, arguments are similar across Creative Industries.
Zoe: This is all very reactive, how can we make do, if we had this information before, there has been no economic assessment of impact…
Sarah: What about copyright issues? If you show in London, would you have to but your copyrights? Register country by country…
Katharine: Hard to protect yourself anyway, Brexit or no Brexit.
Jack: This will all be dependent on the negotiations however we will try as much as we can to stay close to the European Intellectual Property Law.
Nick: What happens if you are selling service, could that end up with a tariff as well as goods invoiced for?
Jack Karet: Details of impact to service industries have not been fully outlines yet.
Nick: We need to consider if we are going to create less ease with Europe, how can we compensate with other markets?
Jack: We want to gather as much information as possible to know what your priorities are. We want to know where the peculiarities are for CI industries. Are there any peculiarities if they didn’t exist would that make it easier? What do you want to protect/discard?
Katharine: Look at the opportunity to reindustrialise the UK, reinvent the UK industry… Made in UK quality mark (area of huge concern), international customers buy heritage as well as creative talent (Japanese trade agreement with UK).
Tamara: Need lobbying for more regional support, pick up the lobbying voice, solid 360 circular economy.
Speaker 4: Derin Adebiyi - ISM (Incorporated Society of Musicians)
• Main focus is #FreeMoveCreate campaign for collective, reciprocal travel for music industry (Cross-sector collaborate campaign - 50 organisations in total).
• ISM has carried out 2 surveys to gather views on potential impact of Brexit on music industry.
• 1st survey in 2016 – looked at impact of Brexit on musicians.
• 2nd survey in 2017 – looked at where musicians work and impacts of travel restrictions e.g. short-termism of work does not go together with visas - work will be impossible without freedom of movement
• Overwhelming outcome was that Flexible travel must be protected for the music industry to survive and thrive. Flexible movement should cover 8 key areas e.g. apply to all 27 EU states, be reciprocal with UK, be available at short-notice, cover short periods of stay etc.
• Need to make the focus facts about economic contribution and make our voice louder about that.
Tamara: Government need to look at the supplementary industry to fashion… where are financial services spending money, the creative sector provides innovation skills for Digital.
Sarah M: Can we individually sign up to what you are doing? There are no trade unions anymore.
Karen: Something needs to be said about unions, there are no protections.
• There is a need to push the economic and cultural contribution.
Jack T: understanding between creative industry businesses and education institutions for skills based. Heartened by Industrial Strategy focus on boost productivity - understanding that we need to start talking about skills.
Department for Education is listening but is slow to change.
Katharine: Our only resource industry-wise is our educated, talented population.
Speaker 3: Kate Wicklow - Senior Policy Advisor Guild HE
Overview of English Baccalaureate (Ebacc)
• 3 years ago, EBACC came on board - compulsory subjects plus a choice of subjects. Students are strongly encouraged to take these subjects to have EBAC.
• Schools are measured on Progress 8/Attainment 8; monitored on 8 subjects - Bucket 1 (English/Maths), Bucket 2 (next students highest scoring subjects from EBAC scores), Bucket 3 - the remaining 3 subjects that students score next in, this where the issue is; students get squeezed out of they are not taking an EBAC subject.
• Puts pressure on schools to stick to EBAC subjects so creative/arts subjects suffer. School Progress 8 score - if below a certain level, triggers a specie measures program.
• Diversity problem in the Arts will get worse.
Design Tech declined by 40% in last 10 years (it is not just fine art, music, drama that are suffering decline).
Guy Bilgorri, Design Council: Degree level participation has also suffered a decline.
Culture institutions numbers will diminish.
Arts universities will suffer a decline in numbers; they will have to invest more in outreach or decrease fees.
Diversity problem across Design Faculties - male heavy, lack of representation from disadvantaged backgrounds, BAME communities, women.
Access is a huge issue – the new apprenticeship scheme does not work for creative industries (levy paying issues).
Educators haven’t worked out hot to have the conversation about skills they really need – disparate voices.
We need to decode the language around ‘creative skills’.
Sainsbury Panel report on T levels. Lack of understanding from fashion academic and industry about what ‘t-levels’ are, what the implications are.
We started off talking about STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), that moved to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), we really should be talking about STEAMD (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Design).
Kate: We need to make a stronger case that if we can’t get Arts back, we must make the curriculum more cultured (could be best we are going to get).
Tamara: Unintended consequence of EBACC, children with learning disability (e.g. dyslexia) wouldn’t be served well to develop educationally.
Data on employment levels of in the Digital sector show there is a significant skills transfer from Creative Industries into Digital industries e.g. AI need for people trained in creative education.
Jack T: Treasury understand that we cannot automate creativity. 86% sustainability in CI’s (inherently protected from automation). We must stress the need for continuing education, upskilling and re-entering workforce.
Jack K: T-levels (replacing technical o levels) - consultation out now, DFE have done the shout out.
Tamara: We must have more outward conversation - from an industry that is already an innovator.
BFC sits on the Colleges Council, however it is not education, it is not representative of the industry as a whole.
The industry is freelance in the majority - the issue is what you get paid and the terms of your contract, everyone is so financially precarious in the industry, they will not stick their head above precipice on this.
We need to negotiate for best terms that we can get.
The next Fashion Roundtable is on January 17th is at 3.30-5.30pm
At the office of Hugh Devlin
16 Old Bailey