LFW opens with a NEWGEN promise

Sir Philip Green renewed Topshop’s commitment to the NEWGEN sponsorship scheme for another 10 years at the official opening of London Fashion Week on Friday morning, assuring the continuation of the programme into its second decade.

‘In 2012, with the Olympics and the Jubilee, London is going to be a really important part of the fashion industry—more important than ever,’ the Arcadia boss told the assembled press and industry representatives at Somerset House.

Green voiced his pride in Topshop’s strong record of support for emerging British designers, exemplified by its decade of NEWGEN sponsorship. The scheme has supported young designers such as Erdem, Mary Katrantzou and Christopher Kane at critical points in their careers.


‘Now, more than ever, it is important that we continue to help to develop all the young talent we can,’ Green said. ‘I hope that our next 10 years will be as successful.'

Other key industry figures expressed similar confidence in British fashion. British Fashion Council CEO Caroline Rush and Chairman Harold Tillman introduced Future of Fashion, a new strategic report into growth prospects and goals for the sector.


The report makes five key recommendations about how better skills training, advancing manufacturing, attracting tourism, developing talent and cultivating sponsorship opportunities can buoy an industry worth 1.7% of Britain’s GDP.

‘It’s important that in 2012 we create a legacy for the future’ as the city is ‘thrust into the eyes of the world,’ Tillman said. ‘There are some great initiatives out there, but we need to do more.’

BFC CEO Caroline Rush and Minister for Culture Ed Vaizey also commended the industry’s triumphs at the LFW kick-off event.

‘In the last six years, I’ve been privileged to see an industry that was already successful achieve even more success,’ Vaizey said. ‘The BFC continues to make the case about how valuable the fashion industry is to the UK economy.... People now understand that this is a serious business, a serious creative industry, making a real difference to the UK economy.’

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