The UK is well known worldwide for its iconic fashion industry, with famous names such as Alexander McQueen, Harrods, Topshop, Stella McCartney and Burberry all vying for attention on the country’s high streets. A vast store such as Harrods, for example, is full of top brands that show off the skills and versatility of designers in the fashion world.
One of the keys to a sustainable and profitable future for any brand is in attracting investment so that new developments can be put together and there can be a gradual expansion of new stores or outlets in major cities and shopping centres.
A major problem in terms of getting the right level of investment came when the US and UK financial systems all but collapsed in 2007/8. The knock-on effect it had on other countries was toxic. You only have to look at the problems of Ireland and Spain, not to mention Greece, and it wasn’t surprising that many people decided to pull out of investments or were less willing to take financial risks.
Although there are still certainly investors in the UK interested in investing in the fashion industry, there are also many international companies that are looking to the UK as a good place to invest. Not only will they have opportunities to get involved helping to grow brands and expand them into new markets, especially in economically emerging countries, but also their top people will get the option of attending fashion shows and mixing with well-known designers and, of course, the ever-present groups of celebrities from around the world.
When you think of how fashion moves on from the runways, often with quite bizarre styles, to the high street, you can see how designers need to keep the interest of international investors not only through their imaginative fashion show creations but also by creating styles that can easily be exported into both current and new markets. Attractive, smart and comfortable clothes will always be sought after, and for investors, the risks can be very worthwhile.
Investment from the Middle East
One investment arm of the Lebanese company M1 Group focuses on the fashion business. M1 Group has invested in a number of fashion brands throughout the world. It’s a good way for the company to diversify its many investment interests and attract the attention of classic fashion brands looking for strong investors for the future. M1 Group’s CEO is Azmi Mikati, class of ’94 at Columbia University, and he and his team are always on the lookout for high-quality investment opportunities worldwide.
The changing face of fashion
Fashion is a multi-billion pound industry, constantly changing as new ideas and products are developed and come on stream. It’s also an industry that is always ripe for investment, and the UK fashion industry would do well to look for long-term investment from international companies to give them the backing they need so that they can operate profitably – as well as provide significant employment – many years into the future.