UK young designers say London's it for creativity

Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:32am EDT
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By Venetia Rainey

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - As London Fashion Week comes to a close, young designers remain adamant that Britain's capital is still the best place to get into fashion, with ethical concerns put at the center of many new collections.

Charles Jeffrey is in his second year of studying fashion design with marketing at Central St. Martin's College of Art and Design.

The 20-year-old says that whilst his favorite menswear collections are in Paris, he wouldn't want to study fashion anywhere else.

"London is a creative hub, this is where you come for ideas, where people push the boundaries," he said.

Despite the economic recession, the fashion industry is still going strong, with a recent report by the British Fashion Council valuing its contribution to the UK economy at 21 billion pounds. That makes it the 15th largest British industry out of 81, similar in size to the food/beverage services and telecommunications industries.

The industry also directly employs around 816,000 people, making it the second biggest employer in the country.

David Longshaw is a new designer on the British scene. After graduating from St. Martin's and completing his Masters at the Royal College of Art, he was immediately poached by Italian designer Alberto Ferretti and taken to Milan.

He returned to England last year to start his own label, which was quickly picked up as one of Vauxhall Fashion Scout's Ones To Watch.   Continued...

<p>A model presents a creation from the Vivienne Westwood 2011 Spring/Summer collection at the London Fashion Week September 19, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett</p>