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United Kingdom designer apparel market: £4 billion industry in 2012
Designer Apparel (Ready-To-Wear) in the United Kingdom - a new market research report on 2014-03-10 08:56:03
Some of the most coveted brands in the United Kingdom designer apparel market are those with a distinct British Heritage – such as Burberry and Alexander McQueen. Tourists also purchase global fashion brands such as Prada and Dior, either due to lack of availabilty or the fear of counterfeits in their home country. Due to London‟s status as a global fashion hub, home to internationally-renowned fashion schools such as Central Saint Martins and the new Conde Nast school, it is a hopspot for new talent. Hence, many British consumers favour young, up-and-coming designer labels such as House of Holland and Jonathon Saunders.

Designer clothing accessories experienced robust growth due to their popularity amongst tourists and as gifting items, allowing consumers to buy into a brand at lower price points. Designer scarves were particularly dynamic in 2012, growing by 4% in volume and 6% in current value terms. Scarves are a universal outfit staple, particularly as the British weather requires the wearing of a light scarf in the spring and summer seasons. According to industry press, over 90% of British people own a scarf, which indicates that scarves have become a vital apparel layer. Scarves are also considered the branch-out item of luxury brands. The Alexander McQueen skull scarf, the Louis Vuitton silk scarf studded with its LV logos, and the Burberry plaid design are all recognisable to the average consumer as luxury branded items. The iconic Burberry scarf check patterns, its belts and gloves have all grown in popularity year on year, however by using younger, fresh faces such as Eddie Redmayne and Cara Delevingne in its advertising, the brand has gained more attention and sales.

The expansion of designer clothing towards a more mainstream market is likely to continue, especially due to the uncertain market conditions in Europe. However, this affordable luxury space will become increasingly competitive, as players from the other end of the price spectrum enter with their own premium offering – for example, H&M‟s & Other Stories, and French premium brands such as Zadig & Voltaire and the Kooples.

Key Headlines

- The UK designer apparel market grew by 4% in current value terms in 2012, reaching sales of £3.9 billion
- The segment witnessed further polarisation as designer apparel brands moved towards either accessible or absolute luxury to boost revenues
- Designer footwear recorded the strongest value growth in 2012, at 6%
- The fragmented UK designer apparel market is populated by both Heritage and contemporary brands
- The designer apparel market is expected to grow with a 1% constant value CAGR over the forecast period

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