This week, as the spotlight falls on London during the world-famous fashion week, it’s easy to forget that British talent for design isn’t exclusive to the capital.
There are creative businesses and independent fashion houses all over the country producing world-class garments and cutting-edge designs.
The fashion world’s attention turned to the West Midlands earlier this year, when it was revealed Birmingham-born Clare Waight Keller, Givenchy’s first ever female creative director, designed Meghan Markle’s £200,000 wedding gown.
Birmingham is home to the iconic Selfridges building, and the annual Midlands Fashion Awards celebrates emerging talent from across the region with winning hair stylists, designers and makeup artists.
Now a growing number of the area’s creative and fashion businesses are taking advantage of the global demand for quality British design.
Rachel Simpson, which has a flagship boutique in Kings Norton, celebrated its tenth anniversary this year after Rachel started the business out of her own home with just one employee.
The brand now designs and hand makes luxury shoes and handbags, with a speciality in bridal shoes.
The company has enjoyed particular success in Japan, where there is a growing demand for Western-style weddings.
The business has benefitted from a close working relationship with an international trade adviser from the Department for International Trade (DIT), who helped Rachel tap into the global demand for her products.
She now exports more shoes overseas thn she sells here in the UK.
DIT also part-funded the company’s attendance at key international trade shows, including Barcelona Bridal Week and Interbride in Dusseldorf, where they secured new contracts in Japan and Italy, which will see it deliver its high-quality product to the booming demand for the UK’s heritage brands across the globe.
Rachel Simpson’s international export success is just one example of how tapping into overseas markets can be a great way to grow a business.
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