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British Fashion Officials Warn of Financial Woes From a No-Deal Brexit

September 13, 2019, 6:07 PM UTC

British fashion officials are warning about the perils of a no-deal Brexit as London Fashion Week begins.

At an opening event Friday, Stephanie Phair, chairwoman of the British Fashion Council, said the industry is urging Britain’s government to find a Brexit deal rather than leave the European Union without new arrangements in place.

She said studies show a no-deal Brexit would cost the fashion industry well more than 800 million pounds ($1 billion) and urged the British government to negotiate a deal that would ensure “the healthy and steady growth of the fashion industry.”

She spoke at the start of a five-day fashion fest that will feature big names like Burberry, Christopher Kane and Victoria Beckham. Other shows will showcase up-and-coming designers as London builds on its reputation for innovative street fashion.

One of the main events will be a Fashion for Relief show organized by model Naomi Campbell.

As London Fashion Week began Friday, Extinction Rebellion climate protesters glued themselves to an entrance to the extravaganza.

Climate change activists protest at London Fashion Week.
Yui Mok/PA Images/Getty Images

The group said five of its activists covered themselves in fake blood and staged a “die-in” to protest fashion’s contribution to the “climate and ecological crisis.” The group says it plans protests throughout London Fashion week.

London Fashion Week officials declined to comment on the protest. Extinction Rebellion has previously protested at London fashion events. Their criticism is now being met by a wider response in the industry, more focused on sustainability across its supply chains.

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