Please welcome the first post from our esteemed fashion correspondent, Natalie Hartland.
I was recently reading a blog on the Midlands Young Fashion Designer Awards returning for its second year, what a great opportunity for talent hailing from the midlands to showcase what amazing talent they have.
Birmingham has the basis to becoming the most stylish city, with fashion students coming from London to Birmingham to study fashion, but what is there to keep them here?
With a string of big name chains taking over the majority of Birmingham’s shopping centre and high streets, what is the future for Birmingham’s young fashion designer? I fear the answer is a train ticket to the big smoke to join the battle of young fashion house wannabes, competing for a job in one of the big names that consume every square inch of Birmingham’s retail district.
Thankfully this problem hasn’t gone unnoticed with the Big City Plan commenting on the city’s ‘bland’ collection of shops, with most being big name stores which are consistent with every other town and city across the country – hopefully this means something will be done about it!!
Does anyone remember Covet? A cool independent store supplying Topshop Bullring with its vintage collection, the little gem that was hidden deep within the Custard Factory sadly passed away, as did the Topshop vintage collection! More stores like this would allow our young designers a promising chance to not only show case or sell their collections but to start their career without leaving their hometown.
What Birmingham is in desperate need of is unique independent stores such as Cow – the big yellow vintage store on Digbeth high street, more stores like this will give the city individuality and style it needs.
Im glad to see that this problem is being taken into consideration within the Big City Plan, with even Clive Dutton backing it in the hope Birmingham’s shops will help Brum in the race to become one of the top 20 livable cities in the world!!