MEET THE SPEAKERS

Patrick Grant E. Tautz

Patrick Grant, Director, Norton & Sons and E. Tautz

Patrick won the British Fashion Council’s Menswear Designer of the Year award in December 2010 for his work on E. Tautz. In 2012 he won the BFC’s Fashion Forward award, was shortlisted for Designer of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards and International Designer of the Year at the WGSN Global Fashion Awards. He was also named Retailer of the Year at the 2008 Scottish Fashion Awards.

He is also a regular on the BBC both on television and radio, including the major documentaries Savile Row, Harris Tweed, and The Perfect Suit, and the on-going BBC2 Series The Great British Sewing Bee.

Patrick has lived and worked in five countries and worked in a number of different industries before a passion for clothing, craftsmanship and British brands led him to Savile Row tailors Norton & Sons which he took over in 2005. In 2009 Patrick re-launched the historic British sporting and military tailoring house of E. Tautz. In 2013 he launched Hammond & Co in the UK in partnership with Debenhams.

Speaker schedule

Day One – 9:10am ‘Cottage industry to real industry’

Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council

Caroline Rush CBE is the Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council. She has 20 years of experience in marketing and PR across both consumer and corporate communications in fashion, music and lifestyle sectors and has managed her own business for five years, during which time she delivered strategic communications and full press office function for the British Fashion Council.

Since her appointment as Chief Executive in April 2009, Burberry, Matthew Williamson, Mulberry, Pringle of Scotland and Preen have returned to show their collections at London Fashion Week. Caroline has expanded the LONDON show ROOMS and Style Suites taking British designers to new markets including Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Sao Paolo. She was charged with curating the 2009 25th anniversary legacy project for the British Fashion Council which included launching the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund and the BFC Fashion Arts Foundation. The same year, Caroline oversaw the move of London Fashion Week and the British Fashion Council’s headquarters to its current home at Somerset House.

Speaker schedule

Day One – 9:40am ‘High-end and designer manufacturing in the UK’

Emma Willis Shirts

Emma Willis MBE

Emma Willis, English shirt maker in London, trained at the Slade School of Art before starting her business in 1987, designing and making men’s luxury shirts, all made in England.

In 1999 she opened her elegant and intimate shop in Jermyn Street, and in 2010 her English shirt making factory opened in the centre of historic Gloucester. Her philosophy is to adhere to traditional English shirt making techniques, using luxurious Swiss and West Indian Sea Island Cottons.

Emma will be telling us all about her experiences of opening her Gloucestershire factory and the work she is doing to create a whole new generation of luxury shirtmakers.

Speaker schedule

Day One – 12:00 ‘The right time to be manufacturing in the UK again’

Simon Colbeck Marks and Spencer

Simon Colbeck, General Head of Innovation and Quality, Marks and Spencer

Simon Colbeck is General Merchandise Head of Innovation and Quality at Marks and Spencer.
Simon manages a team of technical experts who deliver innovation, quality assurance and sustainability into M&S products. Passionate about UK manufacture, Simon represents M&S on the board of the Lord Alliance National Textile Growth programme, supporting and evaluating prospective grant applications.
Simon also sits on the steering group of the British Fashion Council Positive Fashion programme which aims to support UK manufacturers working with UK design talent and brands.

Speaker schedule

Day One – 10:05am ‘Can mass-manufacturing return to the UK?’

Nigel Cabourn

Nigel Cabourn, Menswear Designer

Hailed as a cult British designer, Nigel Cabourn has worked in the industry for over forty years producing collections, which are not influenced by ‘fashion’ trends but driven by inspirational stories of real people in history and vintage military, outdoor and work wear pieces.
A passionate and avid collector of vintage clothing since the late 70s – he has amassed an archive of over 4,000 pieces – unearthed from all corners of the globe. It is from this ever-increasing archive that Nigel draws inspiration for styles, fabrics and details to ensure that each collection has a real story, sense of history and integrity.
His aim to create a brand that celebrates the best of British has been realised with his Authentic line, launched in 2003, which uses quality heritage fabrics and is produced in British factories to the highest standards and craftmanship.
The Mainline Collection, designed by Nigel and manufactured in Japan, is driven by his appreciation of innovative Japanese fabrics and production techniques, yet still complimenting the philosophy of the Authentic Collection.
To this day, Nigel remains the hands-on driving force behind the Nigel Cabourn brands – Authentic and Mainline – working closely with his design and production teams and various collaborators to produce around 18 collections each year.

Speaker schedule

Day One 11:35am – ‘An institution in British menswear’

DAVID SUDDENS, Dr Martens

David Suddens, Chairman, Dr Martens

David spent the first 28 years of his career in Europe’s textile and clothing industry; after a decade with Courtaulds, he became successively the CEO of the John Crowther Group (where he led a Management Buy-out), DMC (France) and William Baird Plc. He then became a Turnaround Director and is still a member of the Institute for Turnaround.
He joined Dr Martens in 2002 when it was three months from bankruptcy, having lost £120 million in three years on sales that fell from £220 million to £130 million.

David turned around Dr Martens and re-established growth by broadening the product range, increasing penetration in Asia and opening own retail stores. The company has recently been sold to Private Equity Fund, Permira, for £300 million.

In his talk, David will be sharing his personal experiences of working in the UK versus offshore, and exploring questions such as ‘is there an economically viable case for the new-found interest in making in Britain, or is just nostalgia?’, ‘is designed in Britain just as important as made in Britain?’, and ‘does the customer actually care?’.

Speaker schedule

Day Two 9:30am – ‘Has the wheel come full circle?’

Lucy Siegle

Lucy Siegle, Journalist, Author & Broadcaster

Lucy writes an ethical living column for The Observer and is also the author of two books, Green Living in the Urban Jungle and To Die For.  She has contributed to various television and radio programmes, where she reports and speaks about environmental issues, including ITV1’s The 5 O’Clock Show, Five’s The Wright Stuff, Sky News and BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours. Siegle is currently a reporter for BBC One’s The One Show.

Lucy will be joining us again this year to moderate the talks on Day One

Speaker schedule

Day One – 10:05am ‘Can mass-manufacturing return to the UK?’

Simon Middleton

Simon Middleton, Founder & MD of The Shackleton Brand

Simon is founder and MD of The Great British Banjo Company, creator of The Shackleton Banjo – the first production banjo to be manufactured in the UK in more than 60 years – and of Shackleton brand beers, clothing, luggage and accessories, all manufactured in Britain.
The Shackleton’s launch campaign on the Kickstarter platform was one of the top 2% most successful of worldwide Kickstarter projects since the platform was launched, and Simon has raised a further £250,000 in equity funding for the business.

Simon is also one of the UK’s best known brand strategy advisers and speaks internationally about brand, marketing, entrepreneurship, innovation and creative thinking and is the author of three branding, marketing and personal-development books.

We’ve invited Simon back again this year to give us an update on his latest very successful Kickstarter campaign – this time to fund the launch of The Shackleton Clothing Collection.

Speaker schedule

Day Two – 12:30pm ‘Fashion brand building for middle-aged entrepreneurs’

Lorna Fitzsimons

Lorna Fitzsimons, Director, Alliance Project and N Brown Textiles Growth Programme

Lorna Fitzsimons is currently leading The Alliance Project, a public-private partnership to bring back textile manufacturing to the UK. She has spent the last 30 years effecting change in the public and private sectors nationally and internationally.

The Alliance Project was established by industry, Lord Alliance and the Combined Authority of Greater Manchester to work with Government on the growth potential for repatriating textiles manufacturing to the UK.  The Alliance Project has completed the biggest study of supply and demand in British textile manufacturing in the last twenty years.  Lorna also leads on the delivery of the Textile Growth Programme, the first ever textile grant funded growth programme in British history.

Lorna also studied weaving at Loughborough College of Art and Design.

Speaker schedule

Day One – 10:05am ‘Can mass-manufacturing return to the UK?’

Simon Berwin

Simon Berwin, Managing Director, Berwin & Berwin

Simon Berwin is a fourth generation family member of suit manufacturer Berwin & Berwin, which was founded in Leeds in 1885.  He started in the business in 1973 as a cloth room assistant and became managing director in 1987. In the early twentieth century Simon took the controversial decision to move all of the company’s production overseas. The business now imports circa 700,000 suits per year into the UK.

Simon is also Managing Director of Baeumler Fashion, the German based suit company. He is Director of Berwin Retail which has concessions in House of Fraser and is also a non-executive director of Moss Bros. He has also been involved with UKFT and BCIA for over 30 years.  His initial involvement was with BKCEC and then following his time as Director of IMBEX, he represented the industry as Chairman of Premier Menswear.

Often controversial, in March 2015 Simon wrote a letter to industry publication Drapers entitled ‘Volume manufacturing in the UK is over‘, he therefore seemed the perfect person to invite to join this panel debating whether mass-manufacturing can return to the UK.

Speaker schedule

Day One – 10:05am ‘Can mass-manufacturing return to the UK?’

Corin Crane, Director, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership

Corin Crane took up the role of Director of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership in August 2014.

Prior to this he held the post of Head of Economic Partnerships and Investment at Wolverhampton City Council where he was also a lead officer with the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership. He has experience in economic growth, business intelligence and strategy and international trade and marketing.

Before this, he led the Inward Investment, Skills and External Funding team at Telford & Wrekin Council and helped to establish the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership including the Hereford Enterprise Zone.

Corin is responsible for driving forward the LLEP’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) which sets out ambitions to create 45,000 new jobs, lever £2.5bn of private investment and increase GVA by £4bn, by 2020.

This includes managing over £300m of the LLEP’s key programmes which include the recently-signed City Deal, the Local Growth deal, EU and Regional Growth Fund programmes.

Speaker schedule

Day One – 10:50am ‘Reinvigorating the textiles industry in Leicestershire’

Christopher Nieper

Christopher Nieper, Managing Director, David Nieper

Joining the family business in 1986, Christopher witnessed the huge migration of British fashion manufacturing to offshore production. Choosing to go against this offshoring trend and remain steadfast in the company’s commitment to Made in Britain, Christopher has pioneered the company’s investment in marketing, new manufacturing infrastructure and skills to deliver continuous and sustainable growth.

Today, David Nieper enjoys record sales of its luxury womenswear and employs 230 people.

Before joining David Nieper, Christopher completed a degree in mechanical engineering, started his own furniture repair business and sailed across the Atlantic. A beekeeper, school governor, and former non-executive director of Help the Aged, Christopher is married with four children and lives in rural Derbyshire.

Speaker schedule

Day One – 12:25pm ‘British fashion needs YOU!’

Tom Kay Finisterre

Tom Kay, Founder, Finisterre

Tom Kay founded Finisterre, an ethical surf clothing company based in St Agnes, Cornwall, in 2002, with the help of a loan from the Prince’s Trust.

The initial concept for the company was to create a warm, technical clothing range for surfers to wear before and after surfing. Tom understood the needs from his own experiences, as a keen surfer himself.

The Finisterre brand is committed to a more responsible way of manufacturing, both in the fabrics that they use and the manufacturers they chose to work with.

Speaker schedule

Day Two – 9:05am ‘Building an ethical British lifestyle brand’

Mick Cheema Basic Premier

Mick Cheema, Director, Basic Premier

Basic Premier ltd is a one of the largest clothing manufacturers in Leicester, the historical British heartland of the textiles industry. The factory is run by Mick Cheema and his wife Raj, in partnership with clothing supplier Basic Thinking.

The factory was founded on the basis that there is a gap in the market in the UK for a clothing manufacturer that can supply a large quantity of products; that are of a high technical standard to action changing fashion trends, giving retailers the ability to gain from such change. Basic Premier pride themselves on quick response and being able to deliver with lead-times as short as two weeks.

Mick will be making a valid contribution to our panel on day one, when we will be addressing the issues surrounding bringing the mass-manufacturing of textiles back to the UK.

Speaker schedule

Day One – 10:05am ‘Can mass-manufacturing return to the UK?’

Becky John, Who Made Your Pants?

Becky John, Managing Director, Who Made Your Pants?

Becky John set up Who Made Your Pants? in 2008 – an idea she’d had two years previously. In addition to really liking pants, Becky really didn’t like wearing clothes made in sweatshop conditions and was also aware that women who are refugees are alone for the majority of the day which leads to personal and social problems.

With this in mind, she developed a socially focused business creating manufacturing jobs for women marginalised by their status as refugees. Who Made Your Pants? turns perfect fabrics left over from the lingerie industry into gorgeous new Pants for women who want to know who made them.

In 2014 Becky won a Social Entrepreneur of the Year award which helped secure additional funding for Who Made Your Pants, as well as recognition for the outstanding work done in scaling up her business.

Speaker schedule

Day Two – 9:55am ‘Ten things I’ve learned’

Orsola de Castro

Orsola de Castro, Creative Director, From Somewhere and R2W, co founder,  Estethica and Fashion Revolution

Orsola de Castro is an internationally recognised pioneer in sustainable fashion. She began up-cycling in 1997 with her original label, From Somewhere, the first to take luxury pre-consumer textile waste and re-make it into new collections. From Somewhere’s collaborations include Robe Di Kappa, Jigsaw, Speedo and Tesco (for which they won Best Fashion Accessory at the 2010 Observer Ethical Awards). In 2006, Orsola and her partner launched Esthetica at London Fashion Week under the British Fashion Council, to showcase labels designing sustainably. Recently, Orsola created Reclaim To Wear, resulting in collaborations with retailers such as Topshop as well as projects with Central Saint Martins and Hong Kong Design Institute.

Orsola is also the co-founder of Fashion Revolution which every year on the 24th April brings everyone in the fashion value chain together and helps to raise awareness of the true cost of fashion, show the world that change is possible, and celebrate all those involved in creating a more sustainable future.

Speaker schedule

Day Two – 12:05pm ‘Why you should care about who made your clothes’

Russell Hammond, Founding Partner, The Scaphan Network

Russell has spent the last 15 years successfully helping fashion companies work smarter. He started his career at Burberry where he managed the Operations of the womenswear division, and then spent 2 years with Alice Temperley, improving processes, installing an IT system and improving delivery. He went from there to Aquascutum where he managed the whole supply chain from sketch to store.

Russell will be calling on his years of experience of working with designers, to give a presentation full of insightful tips on how you can make your sourcing more effective, including how to find and keep good suppliers, as well as what to do when things go wrong.

Speaker schedule

Day Two – 10:20am ‘Effective Sourcing’

Michaela Jedinak, Co-founder, Michaela Jedinak

Michaela Jedinak is a personal stylist, founder of leading personal style site Joy of Clothes and designer of the eponymous Michaela Jedinak dress label. Unlike many designers she challenges traditional fashion rules and offers a choice of styles and cuts to suit every body type. Her mission is to empower women to dress for success.

Michaela’s dresses are all made in London and are worn by leading business women, at Downing Street and by European royalty and aristocracy. Prior to launching her own fashion label Michaela worked in the media and her roles included Managing Director of Cosmopolitan in Prague,

In her talk Michaela will be espousing the benefits of manufacturing in the UK and giving tips on how to understand your customer and bring a new brand to market.

Speaker schedule

Day Two – 10:45am ‘Lessons learnt by a fashion entrepreneur’

Pete Schonbeck, Business Advisor, London Small Business Centre

Pete has over 25 years of experience within the fashion industry. He has designed, been a buyer, a product developer and merchandiser at all levels right up to Senior  Director for some of the most envied brands  in the creative industry such as Levi Strauss, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger and Barbour.

After a roaring creative career, he joined forces with a business partner and Sir Paul Smith himself  to set up a menswear designer retail outlet that stocked key labels such as Paul Smith, Nicole Farhi, Mandarina Duck, Evisu, John Smedley, Duffer of St George, Joseph and 6876.

“All things creative float my boat, not only clothing, but interior design and architecture also. I love out of the box creative thinking to keep things evolving and to keep competitors on their toes.” When he’s not whipping entrepreneurs into shape (deep down he’s a softie really), you can usually find him in the Alps showing off his skiing skills, or out on his road bike in the Chiltern Hills.

Pete will be chairing our panel on day 2 when it will be your opportunity to put your questions about anything to do with manufacturing to a team of experienced designers, production consultants and manufacturers.

Speaker schedule

Day Two – 11:25am Designer / Manufacturer Q&A

Vine Crawley Caroline Charles

Vince Crawley, Product Director, Caroline Charles

Vince has worked at Caroline Charles for 18 years overseeing the production and buying departments. He also works closely with Caroline on the design and sourcing side.

Caroline Charles sources all their fabrics within Europe. Manufacturing takes place all over the world but about 75% is made in London.

Speaker schedule

Day Two – 11:25am Designer / Manufacturer Q&A

K Avery Stallion St Leonards Accessories

“K” Avery-Stallion, Designer & Founder, St Leonards Accessories

“K” Avery-Stallion graduated in textiles in 1994 and embarked on a varied fashion career working for High Street retailers until she had become a square peg in a mass-produced hole. A health crisis brought life into sharp focus and ST LEONARDS was born after a 2-yr convalescence. The brand is deep-rooted in its seaside surroundings, feeding off the creativity of St Leonards-on-Sea. With a unisex, pared down ethos “K” is slowly building her customer base. Training interns and employing local people is how she gets things done. Recent collaborations include Margaret Howell, Watanabe in Tokyo and she’s currently handcrafting an order for hip store You Must Create. Her dream is to build ST LEONARDS into a lifestyle brand with its own coastal production.

Speaker schedule

Day Two – 11:25am Designer / Manufacturer Q&A

Daliah Simble, Production & Sourcing Consultant

Daliah Simble is an Industry Consultant and has over 20 years experience in strategy and process implementation of the entire fashion product life cycle management sector from design concept through to delivery and is an expert in re-shoring.  

Previous roles include Head of Sourcing & Production at Roland Mouret, Consultant Director of Production and Sourcing at Liberty, Production and Development manager at Frost French, Merchandise Manager at French Connection, Head Merchandiser at Nicole Farhi, and Production Manager at Monsoon.  

Daliah sits on many skills boards and Industry panels, Lord Alliance RGF Fund Board, BFC Steering committee, Creative Skill Set Tick and Textiles council.  

Speaker schedule

Day Two – 11:25am Designer / Manufacturer Q&A

Upender Mehra, Managing Director, Beaver of Bolton

Ex-punk Upender picked up a well established ‘fading’ brand ‘Beaver of Bolton’ and revived it through design and quality developments. He took the company from an insolvent position and turned it round – making everything in Lancashire (as they still do today). The company is now in a strong position – selling well in the U.K., Europe and especially Japan.

Upender is also the managing director of clothing manufacturer Dolphinstar, who make Ladies and Mens woven garments for other brands – both up-and-coming labels and established but essentially quality led English production. He is also the designer behind Liberty Freedom – the brand that gives English tailoring a punk edge.

Always outspoken, Upender will be sharing advice on making in the UK both as a designer AND a manufacturer.

Speaker schedule

Day Two – 11:25am Designer / Manufacturer Q&A

Burhan Bilici Sour Grape

Burhan Bilici, Director, Sour Grape

With a family background in manufacturing, Burhan has 25 years experience in the garment production business. Having previously worked as creative director at Karen Millen, and head of technical and CMT production at All Saints, five years ago Burhan took the decision to set up his own production company in London, producing high-end womenswear for catwalk designers.

Sour Grape London recently won the UKFT ‘Let’s Make it Here’ award – an honour bestowed on a manufacturer or brand that produces high quality apparel, accessories or textiles entirely in the UK.

Speaker schedule

Day Two – 11:25am Designer / Manufacturer Q&A