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The main political debate within the fashion industry recently has been the move out of the EU and the idea of being an independent country has divided the nation.

Trading in and out of Europe has encouraged fashion trends to evolve quicker and at a much lower cost, however since the overall 'brexit' decision has been given the go ahead, the following few years may provide uncertainty for fashion traders if decisions cannot be made at a faster rate. Political Movements in Fashion. Can fashion have a political conscience?

Political Movements in Fashion

The question is a recurring one, and the answers are all too often clichéd. Examples of the industry’s insensitivity and lack of sympathy (or knowledge) towards social and political realities surface regularly in the media, and stories about blackface editorials and articles praising the “beauty” and “philanthropy” of the wives of Middle East dictators make the movie Zoolander look like a realistic take on the fashion world. However (and contrary to popular belief) fashion is just as often used as a social commentary. When, in 1906, Paul Poiret freed women from the corset, the couturier was immediately hailed as a pioneer of the Women’s Liberation Movement.

From Mainbocher to Yohji Yamamoto, designers have used their collections as outlets for socio-political commentary, and today’s talents are no exception. Through a surprisingly understated show, Rick Owens made an obscure comment on dominance and submission, on authority and its rejection. Online-Only Asos Shines, Brexit Bad For Fashion. "Asos Outshines High-Street Rivals as Online-Only Model Bears Fruit" (The Financial Times) "The Aim-quoted online retailer is enjoying sales growth that its high-street rivals could not even dream of.

Online-Only Asos Shines, Brexit Bad For Fashion

" "Brexit: What Does It Mean for Online Retailers? " (The Guardian) "With currency fluctuations and the potential burden of tariffs and taxes, e-tailers worry that leaving the EU will come at an almighty cost. " "Using an Algorithm to Figure Out What Luxury Customers Really Want" (Harvard Business Review) "The enormous volume of data collected from mystery shoppers, online reviews, social media, blogs, and ratings agencies about customer preferences and experiences has become too overwhelming for any business to assess.

" Is Fashion a Credible Platform for Protest? Vivienne Westwood Red Label Spring/Summer 2015, Jean Paul Gaultier Spring/Summer 2015, Stella McCartney | Photo Collage: BoF LONDON, United Kingdom — Last week in Paris, Chanel appropriated the visual signifiers of feminist protest for its seasonal runway show.

Is Fashion a Credible Platform for Protest?

In a finale led by Karl Lagerfeld, a bevy of supermodels took to a catwalk christened “Boulevard Chanel” holding signs with slogans such as “History is Her Story,” “Make Fashion Not War,” and “Tweed Is Better Than Tweet.” On the same day in Hong Kong, a genuine protest was underway. Protesting for the right to democratically elect a candidate of their own choosing, tens of thousands of Hong Kongers formed crowds that throbbed and swelled in the city’s streets. Playing out against this backdrop, the “faux-test” staged on Boulevard Chanel rang especially hollow, repackaging political riot as a light-hearted, Instagram-savvy performance. We think it can.

UK Cosmetics Group Lush Relocates Staff to Germany Post-Brexit. LONDON, United Kingdom — UK cosmetics maker and retailer Lush is relocating European staff from Britain to Germany and has expanded production at its German factory in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the European Union, it said on Wednesday.

UK Cosmetics Group Lush Relocates Staff to Germany Post-Brexit

Lush, which makes cosmetics by hand, said uncertainty caused by the June Brexit vote had led it to accelerate plans to increase production at its factory in Düsseldorf, western Germany, for the European market. "While this was always the plan — to make product for Europe in Europe (alongside our Croatian factory) — the reality of the Brexit vote has meant we have done it with a bullet," the company said in an emailed statement. "Many of our staff still have uncertainties about what the Brexit deal will mean for them and continue to wait anxiously for this to be revealed. " Most larger companies are waiting to see how and when Britain will leave the European Union before taking action. By Georgina Prodhan; editor: Greg Mahlich. Why Brexit is good for the fashion industry. After Brexit, which way for fashion? How retailers can fashion their way through Brexit. What Brexit Means for the Fashion Industry.

Today's news that Britain has voted to leave the European Union has sent stock markets plunging and hammered the British pound, which hit its lowest point in decades.

What Brexit Means for the Fashion Industry

Debate: Does Fashion Have A Place In Politics? Fashion Show Review, Ready-to-Wear - Autumn 2016. MILAN, Italy — For all that it was a triumphant return to form, Miuccia Prada's menswear show in January turned out to be a mere appetiser for the deeper, richer women's collection she showed tonight.‎

Fashion Show Review, Ready-to-Wear - Autumn 2016

That was partly a reflection of her own feelings: "A woman is so much more complex than a man. She has to be a mother, a lover, a worker, a beauty... " Fashion’s most iconic political statements. As the date of the UK election draws nearer, politicians have turned their attention to fashion and pop culture in an attempt to wrest the youth vote.

Fashion’s most iconic political statements

David Cameron has claimed Kardashian kinship, Nick Clegg has starred in an “Uptown Funk” election anthem, and the Labour Party has channelled Katharine Hamnett with their “Hell Yes” slogan tee. These recent antics come as no surprise – fashion and politics have long been linked. Last week we paid tribute to Dame Vivienne Westwood’s best protests, one of the great masters of using fashion as a vehicle for social commentary. Now we turn our attention to other designers who have used their clothes to shine a spotlight on important issues.