Why is the fashion industry still London-centric?



It is obvious that the fashion industry strives in London and belongs there. London has been the main home for fashion for centuries, however in the past year London has been under discussion to whether it is the fashion capital. London has been dominating the fashion schools ranking, with five schools featuring in the top 10, London has more fashion schools than any other city in the world. With Central Saint Martin’s retaining the number one spot.

Although in a commercially viable and culturally diverse society it's hard to see why we are still so focused on London as the boiling pot for Fashion. 

Due to recent recollections of thought, it seems that London might be up for competition in the years to come. London might not be the true fashion capital in years to come. With the British Style Collective making its way to St. George's Hall in Liverpool and recent photography exhibition in the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool it seems that the fashion industry is embedding itself in the North West. 

SHOWstudio's Lou Stoppard, who curated the exhibition stated: “There is this kind of strange, London-centric approach to fashion,


"Actually, people wear clothes across the U.K.”


It isn't just the recent events in fashion that has begun the discussion to the fashion capital of the UK. The exhibition was hosted in Liverpool representing the fashion designers that have progressed outside of London. With Gareth Pugh, from Sunderland and infamous milliner Stephen Jones who hails from Liverpool himself. 

At the exhibition what was highlighted was that early issues of magazines tend to focus on the impression that the North had had on the fashion industry, with the likes of editorials in i-D and The Face, focusing on the rawness of the region teamed with aspects of fashion. 


Photographs exhibited at the OpenEye Gallery

The North West is seemingly evolving into a true competitor for the 'big smoke'. Holding a somewhat fashion revolution with the powerhouses of the online fashion industry settling in Manchester. With the Boohoo.comMissguided and PrettyLittleThing making the Northern Quarter home to their HQ's; this can only be down to the rise of online shopping and the accessibility of fashion in the last ten years. 

Alice Doherty, Merchandiser of Missguided stated last year that: 

“The North West and the fashion scene has always been thriving but I think more so in recent years."

Although it seems that those who are settling within the boundaries are online retailers, it suggests that the North West is the breeding point for the future of online retail and PR. However, London will always be the capital for high-fashion and couture. Therefore showing that the future of fashion might not continue being London-centric. 

The Guardian release its league tables last month, by defining the subject area to Fashion and Textiles. Loughborough University ranked number one. The top five consisted of one London University, Kingston, and Dundee, Manchester Met and Falmouth following afterwards. 

Considering the capital has the top 5 colleges for fashion within the world, Kingston was the only London-based University in the league tables. Merely suggesting that the fashion industry is soon to move, or become less-diminished in London. 

When regarding the Fashion Journalism sector, it’s difficult to understand why London is still home to the majority of large-based offices and companies. 

Journalism is an industry that is increasingly becoming digital. The debate whether there will be a future for the print industry is on the top discussion list for studying students and lecturers, of which I personally believe that there will always be space for the print sector. With most top fashion magazines having an online site, as well as their print magazine; it is hard to understand why most fashion magazines are located only in London. 

In terms of Journalism league table rankings Sheffield is top of the tables. Following on Strathclyde, Oxford Brookes, Kingston and Cardiff follow suit. Kingston once again being the only University representing the London definitive. 

With the league tables denouncing London as the frenzy capital for Fashion, it is hard to see whether the industry is ever going to make the jump towards the North West or the North itself. It will be a long time before the North West or North can compete with London; however it is easier to come to grips that the industry might start to provide more opportunities outside of London. 

What do you think of the capital of fashion? Do you think there should be more opportunities outside of the capital? Or do you think that it is never going to change? Let us know, we would love to hear from you.