In the past year, the British luxury fashion industry saw sales break through the £5bn barrier, driven by the rising popularity of newer, younger brands. Sales hit £5.25bn as designer brands established after 1990, such as Stella McCartney and Lulu Guinness, saw average turnover growth of 7%.
According to private wealth law firm Boodle Hatfield, the increase in sales could prompt younger labels to reach the next stage of growth development by targeting more international sales, particularly in the rapidly growing Chinese market.
Meanwhile, “heritage” brands set up before World War II, such as iconic British fashion house Burberry, reported 0.7% average turnover growth in the past year. Some heritage brands are struggling as they rely on a traditional high street presence to secure sales.
In comparison, younger brands lean more heavily on their online platforms, shielding them from the problems faced by bricks and mortar stores. Boodle Hatfield partner Jane Ireland said: “It is exciting to see a group of younger, faster-growing British luxury fashion businesses emerging.
“If this growth can be sustained, these businesses could change the perception that British luxury brands are a little old-fashioned and conservative.”
Ireland added: “The next few years will be critical as some of them attempt to transition from boutique UK luxury businesses to global brands with substantial sales – particularly in China and the US.”