As the UK’s leading trade show, Moda welcomes brands from a host of nations all over the globe. But that’s not to say that Britain’s very own home-grown talent isn’t well represented, as proved by this season’s influx of unique British designs.
With a wide appeal both at home and overseas, fashion Made in Britain is big business. This season in particular, Moda welcomes a wide range of home-grown labels across each of its sectors, showcasing the fact that UK design and manufacture is very much alive and kicking.
For footwear, British manufacture has long been the preserve of handmade shoes for the discerning gentlemen. A cluster of factories in the Northamptonshire region produce global names including Barker Shoes, Loake, and John White – all of which will be proudly in attendance at Moda Footwear this season.
A newer kid on the block however – Yull – is flying the flag for women’s shoes, and proving that British manufacture doesn’t haven’t to be limited to traditional men’s styles.
Established six years ago, Yull is one of the only independent shoe brands manufacturing high heels in the UK. “We never gave up on our idea of setting up manufacturing in the UK, even when industry experts told us it wasn’t possible,” says creative director Sarah Watkinson-Yull. “We are proud of our efforts that have changed people’s mentalities, and we are looking forward to returning to Moda Footwear with updated versions of our best-selling Brixton trainer, our well-loved Chester boots and lots of new exciting styles.”
Buyers seeking British-made collections can also check out Padders and Chatham, both of which recently brought their manufacture back to the UK in celebration of the heritage of their labels. Wider shoe specialist DB Shoes also makes a fair percentage of its range at its Rushden headquarters, so the craftmanship of Northamptonshire is always at the heart of Moda, as well as being its geographical neighbour.
Over in menswear, the focus is on contemporary tailoring. Transforming uniquely British textiles into sharp silhouettes has long been a distinct character of the British fashion industry. In fact, menswear retailers in the know are gaining an edge on the high street with the smaller, lesser-known labels that add character to the trend for modern tailoring, and the first port of call for such brands is Moda Gent.
Arriving new this season, Bucktrout is a distinctive label with a proud British heritage. Creating modern styles that respect the past, Bucktrout is located within a historic tailoring district in Leeds, and is focusing on bringing new retail partners on board with its debut at Moda Gent.
“There’s a great deal of interest in the classic British style category both at home and abroad, and we think that the Bucktrout name and our heritage plays right into that aesthetic,” says creative director Katie Bucktrout. “We exclusively use British heritage fabrics sourced from Yorkshire and Scottish mills, and we’re all about creating modern styles that respect the past; our collections are timeless, and we’re committed to beautiful tailoring and quality at a fair price.”
Bucktrout will be joined at Moda Gent by fellow debutantes Chapman Bags and Apatchy London. Chapman Bags handmakes its entire collection in Carlisle, Cumbria, bringing leather and canvas to life with styling that leans towards the typically British lifestyles of fishing and country pursuits. For Apatchy meanwhile, the focus is London, and the celebration of the capital’s distinct style. As a specialist in all types of accessories from washbags to holdalls, the brand ensures that its London identity runs through each of its designs, and visitors to Moda Gent can discover the unique collection for the first time at this season’s show.
For Moda Woman, a/w 18 sees the return of perhaps the most quintessentially British labels in the industry. Following an absence in August, heritage label Dents makes a welcome return this February, bringing with it a host of leather gloves, bags, hats and other accessories, all proudly made at the brand’s Wiltshire headquarters, as they have been since 1777.
Which British brands are on your buying list this a/w 18? Let us know via Facebook and Twitter, and get the edge on the season to come.