Fashion has always been political. As a platform heavily linked with media – which has the power to shape people’s opinions, it’s no surprise that the British businesses and Creatives who will be directly affected by the coming referendum are voicing their opinions.

PETA Model’s Against Fur Campaign | Photography by Dazed Digital

On the 14th June, The British Fashion Council released the results of a survey sent out to 500 UK Designers. From the 290 responses, 90% have revealed their stance to stay in the European Union.  The remaining have disclosed that 4.3% will vote to leave, whilst 2.4% are undecided and 2.8% will not vote (Dazed, 2016).

Backstage at Phillip Ellis, CSM BA 2016 | Photography by Lucie Rox

These numbers confirm what we have seen in the media so far with regards to the British Fashion Industry’s stand point on this matter. Until recently, the banking, aviation and pharmaceutical industries have dominated the business opinions of the 23rd June referendum. However, now the creative professionals are having their say (The Independent, 2016). This weekend, pioneering Menswear designers such as Sibling, E. Tautz, Lou Dalton, and Christopher Raeburn showed their support for the ‘Remain’ vote in their London Collection shows (Vogue, 2016).

Cozette McCreery and Sid Bryan of Sibling | Christopher Raeburn | Photography by Indigital

Their overt passion towards the referendum makes sense, as “the European Regional Development Fund has provided millions to London fashion”(Dazed, 2016). They sponsor London College of Fashion, the British Fashion Council, thus in turn, the London Collections and NEWGEN Designers. All of which are vital media platforms that have launched the careers of many young fashion leaders. Amongst other’s who have showed their support to stay are Vivienne Westwood, Jonathan Anderson, Ashley Williams, Charles Jeffrey and Claire Barrow.

Vivienne Westwood, by Vivienne Westwood Official | Claire Barrow, by @claire_barrow

Many of London’s most exciting labels such as Roksanda Ilincic (Serbia), Marques’ Almeida (Portugal), and Mary Katrantzou (Greece) may not exist without the EU’s ease of educational immigration. Should Brexit happen, we can expect fashion institutions to lose funding, consumer prices soar, EU students no longer being able to afford British Education, and restricted trade and travel (Dazed, 2016).

Backstage at Daniel W. Fletcher’s Presentation | Photography by NY Times

German photographer and fine artist Wolfgang Tillmans, who’s based in Britain, made a clear campaign and artist statement on his stance towards Brexit on his website. Admiring the EU, he says:

“The EU protects your rights against these enemies of freedom – The anti-democratic forces in eastern Europe, the Islamist forces around the Mediterranean, the big business interests in North America, are all poised to wash away the EU’s laws of moderation.”

Written by Sonia Wan

Edited by Christina Wright

References

Fashion Mag (2016) 90 of UK Designer Businesses Show Support For Remain [Online] Available at http://m.uk.fashionmag.com/news/90-of-UK-designer-businesses-show-support-for-Remain,703335.html#utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email [Accessed 15/06/16]

Business of Fashion (2016) Brexit Bad For Fashion Luxury [Online] Available at http://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/bof-comment/brexit-bad-for-fashion-luxury-european-union-united-kingdom [Accessed 15/06/16]

The Independent (2016) EU Referendum [Online] Available at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/eu-referendum-brexit-clothing-imports-sterling-wardrobe-fashion-a6904816.html [Accessed 15/06/16]

Vogue (2016) British Fashion Council Survey Results [Online] Available at  http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2016/06/14/british-fashion-council-bfc-brexit-designer-survey-results[Accessed 15/06/16]

The Independent (2016) Brexit Falls Out of Favour with the Luxury Fashion Brands[Online] Available at  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/brexit-falls-out-of-favour-with-the-luxury-fashion-brands-a6894746.html [Accessed 15/06/16]

Dazed Digital (2016) The Stats are in, here’s what the Fashion Industry thinks of Brexit [Online] Available at  http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/31577/1/the-stats-are-in-here-s-what-fashion-thinks-of-brexit [Accessed 15/06/16]

Dazed Digital (2016) Decoding what a Brexit might mean for Fashion [Online] Available at http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/31454/1/decoding-what-a-brexit-might-mean-for-fashion[Accessed 15/06/16]