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Small Business Saturday


Newsletter 2nd December 2020

As from today, 2nd December, our shop based on Fonthill Road is open and ready for business. According to research, commissioned by American Express, seven in ten Brits say they will visit local shops and businesses this month, with an average spend of £169, recognising their essential role in our local communities throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. As a principal supporter of Small Business Saturday UK (Saturday 5th December), the General Manager UK, Global Merchant and Network Services at American Express – Dan Edelman said:

2020 has been hard for everyone but the resilience and creativity of small businesses in the face of the most trying of circumstances continues to be nothing short of incredible. It’s great to see that Brits recognise the important contribution local small businesses make and want to show their support, rewarding them with a much-needed boost to spending before the end of the year.”

Here at FashionCapital we are all about supporting and nurturing new and local creative talent, which is what our shop, the FC Designer Collective, is all about. Pop in and view various collections and products from a wide range of designers alongside fabrics and haberdashery. We also have an on-site alteration and repair service and can offer 1-to-1 stitching tuition. Visit this Small Business Saturday and discover unique products that you won’t find anywhere else!

FC Designer Collective, 113-115, Fonthill Road, London N4 3HH.

Shop opening days / hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 – 17:00

Huge Casualties on the UK High Street

As retailers prepare for a pre-Christmas onslaught the news has been dominated by the collapse of Arcadia Group and Debenhams department stores. Retail, is indeed, entering deeply worrying times as 25,000 jobs are likely to go as these two retail giants wind-down both businesses. The UK’s ailing high streets have seen some long-established retailers struggling over the last few years – combine this with the pandemic and closure announcements continue to rise.

For those of us working in fashion and retail questions are being asked as to what went wrong? Not so long ago Topshop, part of Arcadia Group, was heralded as a brand that was ‘on the pulse’ working with up-and-coming designers and a part of London Fashion Week. Meanwhile, Debenhams has been a staple department store on the UK high street for 242-years!

Fiona Warburton, co-founder, Asmuss Clothing, a sustainable womenswear brand, comments: “The advantage that smaller companies have over larger ones, is that we can adapt a lot quicker, as we are still very much in control of our designs and supply chain, meaning we have been able to meet the new demands of our customer, introducing new designs as we go. Many small fashion businesses are also solving major problems caused by the wider industry, with many refusing to, or unable to mass produce, and using better materials, that are better for the environment. I believe that there is a lot more longevity in smaller brands, than high street, though it is a process and education, we are definitely seeing a movement in wanting clothes that do good.”

JoJo Iles, editor of FashionCapital, adds: “It is heart-breaking to hear about the collapse of Arcadia and Debenhams, I myself, worked at Debenhams as a Saturday girl during my teens and I know our CEO Jenny Holloway, worked with Arcadia Group for a time as a Senior Buyer. Both companies have an established retail history and my concern is for the combined 25,000 people due to become unemployed at this very difficult time. Additionally we have to question the traditional retail business model, it is clear that it no longer works, this has been discussed for a number of years and yet change is slow and reluctant. Those that are on the ball in terms of lean production, small and often drops in-store, along with investment in new technology and online options are clearly ahead of the game here.”

Lean Speed of Response Business Model

ASBCI Webinar Today

Today, 2nd December, Fashion-Enter Ltd CEO Jenny Holloway joined Dr Julie King – ASBCI, Jackie Lewis – MOTIF, Kate Hills – Make it British and Lindsay Clarke – Planet Personnel to discuss the skills that will take the fashion industry into the future. The first webinar in the ASBCI’s ‘Survival of the Smartest’ series the panel considered how to identify essential skills, the importance of investing in existing staff, and recruitment strategies to fill those vital roles.


Sewing Queen Jess Smith in the Daily Mirror

While we are on the subject of skills, it was brilliant to see Welsh seamstress Jess Smith featured in The Daily Mirror’s job page. In the feature Jess talks about her work and how she has adapted from making curtains for Laura Ashley to jumpsuits, trousers, dresses and PPE!

From the article – on being the youngest in the team:

‘I am (the youngest) most people imagine that seamstresses are older women. I am breaking the mould there and I hope that when others learn how much I love the job and how satisfying it can be, they might be tempted to follow suit.’

Tap here to view the article.

And The Winner Is…

Two-weeks ago fashion designer Karen Gold launched a competition to win one of her beautiful corded lace dress designs. We asked this question: Where was Karen’s Caribbean Odyssey SS21 collection made? And of course the answer is at the Fashion Studio at Fashion-Enter, Haringey, London UK!

We received amazing feedback to this competition – congratulations to Zoe Payne – a Karen Gold London dress is heading your way!

We Are Making Garments For Tiktok

Following the highly successful TikTok X Graduate Fashion Week two week residency for fashion graduates earlier this year, we are now delighted to be making garments for TikTok. Take a look at the fab designs here….

Many Thanks to Private White

This amazing NHS / PPE inspired cake was made by Anwen Jones at the Welsh factory

We would like to express a huge thank-you to Private White who have kept us in constant work for the past six months producing disposable scrubs.

Masterclasses and Courses 

Stitching, Pattern Cutting, Tailoring & More 

Online Pattern Cutting Course 

Advanced Gerber Masterclass 

Learn Perfect Fit Pattern Skills From Home

As an official affiliate of Telestia – the leading online learning platform for pattern-making and design courses, we are thrilled to offer four online courses that you can complete in your own time with accompanying online tutor support. Get busy and upskill this winter, to receive a 10% discount simply follow the links below to sign up for your chosen course.

Pattern Making – Womenswear

Pattern Making – Menswear

Fashion Design Technical Drawing 

Level 2 Telestia Diploma in APD 

For further information or any questions please contact: jenni@fashion-enter.com

Fabric Swatch of the Week

In need of some festive sparkle? How about this black glitter Lurex perfect for your Christmas and New Year home sewing projects. Available from the FCFabricStudio at £5- a metre.

This Week on FashionCapital.co.uk

Small Business Saturday – a behind the scenes look at the independents of Soho, London.

And Finally…

B of London launches new Styles

Head over to Silk Fred to shop the latest collection from B of London. 

Featuring loungewear jumpsuits, leather-look leggings and just a couple of bodycon party dresses to get you in the festive mood! All designed and ethically manufactured at our London factory.

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