February 27, 2012 | BFA Editor | News | Comments Off

Report from Richard Kottler, CEO. February 2012


Halfway through the selling season and we have sensed a more optimistic  atmosphere at exhibitions than we had predicted. Attendance at shows both here and abroad has been patchy but there has been serious buying and great contacts being made. A number of members have also landed good agents in various markets – a great platform for next season.



The BFA has been prominent at MAGIC – a superb Wimbledon themed British area received terrific interest and helped exhibitors have a successful show

We also co-hosted a British Designers Collective stand for 4 new brands at the recent PURE Show – see below

With this country being centre stage in the world this year with the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee, you will see more of these British sections in shows later this year. An important part of our support for the industry!



After our introductory seminar in December, we are receiving more and more expressions of interest from companies wanting to research this  key  market. We are now planning the next phase which will include

* Regular updates on the market from the China-Britain Business Council of which we are members

* Introduction to the relevant person in the CBBC for members wanting specific advice

* The possibility of a Footwear Industry Mission to China towards the end of the year – if there is sufficient interest


As a first step, I would be grateful if any member company wanting to get involved with the “China Project” to let me know  so we can start the process noted above



There has been a lot of noise in the press about this latest Government backed initiative – unfortunately not many hard details are available. Despite this looseness, I still believe that there will be a definite opportunity for our industry to get some real benefit – both financial and actual – when the details do emerge.


In the meantime, here is an update of what we know so far

The Skillset Apprenticeship in Fashion and Textiles


Skillset has been working with the fashion and textiles industries over the past three years to develop and implement the new Skillset Apprenticeship in Fashion and Textiles.

The Apprenticeship has grown exponentially in that time, with more than 600 apprentices expected to be registered by September – an increase of more than 2000% since 2010. One of the largest awarding bodies in the country, Pearson plc., has just signed on to deliver the qualifications that make up the Apprenticeship, which will translate into a massive increase in the number of training providers being able to offer it throughout the UK.

Earlier this month, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced that, from April, Skillset will direct cash incentives of £1,500 to 500 small businesses in the creative industries who take on their first apprentice. More details on how to access the payment will be available soon.

To find out how a Skillset Apprenticeship can benefit your business, visit



We are happy to link with UKFT to bring this trip to your attention


Opportunity India 2012 – UKFT and Brandspoke Fashion Research Visit


22nd to 27th April 2012 – your chance to explore the market in India.

UKFT, in collaboration with brand management and marketing specialists Brandspoke are offering fashion brands the chance to see first-hand the opportunities that exist in the world’s fastest growing commercial market.

India will prove to be a market for many brands, but research is suggests that those with a focus on young men’s fashion and sportswear will have the best first chance of developing business in India.

So come with us – visit India with people who are experienced in the market and can introduce you to the right contacts. You will be offered an itinerary tailored to the needs of the group (expected to number around 20), and one to one meetings with key retailers and fashion specialists in both Delhi and Mumbai. Great accommodation, extensive retail visits, and a variety of cultural experiences will ensure that you get the most out of this introduction to India.

The cost, including flights from Heathrow, internal flights, transfers, accommodation, and a tailored meeting programme is £3,800 per person.. Your UKFT contact is Laurian Davies


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