1. ITV Report

Final preparations for Birmingham International fashion week

Model on the catwalk at London Fashion week earlier this month. Photo: PA

Fashion may be all about the glamour and the gowns, but how much does it really bring to Britain's economy?

As Birmingham International Fashion Week opens its' doors to a worldwide audience, here's a few fashion facts:

The catwalk ready at the Council House in Birmingham. Credit: ITV News Central
  • The UK fashion industry is now directly worth £26 billion to the national economy - that's a five billion pound increase since 2009.
  • Nearly 800,000 people are employed in the UK fashion industry.
  • London Fashion Week (LFW) is the UK's most prominent fashion event. Nearly a hundred million pounds worth of orders are placed at LFW each season, with more than five thousand visitors at this month's event alone.
  • Derbyshire-born designer Dame Vivienne Westwood is a regular name at LFW, along with Nottingham-based designer Sir Paul Smith. Both are credited with flying the British fashion flag in wider markets.
Nottingham-born Paul Smith has achieved world wide fame with his fashion design Credit: PA

Last season more than 75,000 images were added to social media tool Instagram using the hashtag #LFW.

More than 30,000 espressos were served at London Fashion Week last season.

Shoes on display in the Council House in Birmingham Credit: ITV News Central

Sam Moore, COO, Oxford Economics, added:

“Our research underlines the continued and growing importance of the fashion industry’s contribution to the UK economy. Despite, the severe economic headwinds that have confronted British industries since 2009, the growth of the fashion industry is a testament to UK consumers’ voracious appetite for fashion products.”

Birmingham is fast-becoming a "go-to" destination for fashion-hungry consumers. The city already hosts the annual Clothes Show in December, bringing hundreds of emerging and established fashion, make-up and accessory designers to an audience of thousands.

As the city holds the second International Fashion Week in it's name, consumers, bloggers and the fashion market itself are all watching to see if Birmingham, and the Midlands, can really make it's mark on an ever-growing industry.