• Izak Hannard

Campaigning for a fairer and fashion-forward future in Newcastle

In 2016, I left Newcastle and off to university I went where I lived in Manchester for three years. Little did I expect that Manchester has so much to offer than Newcastle does in the arts and entertainment sector. In 2018, I attended my first ever runway fashion show at Manchester Fashion Week and it really surprised me to learn that Manchester and Liverpool are the only city's in the UK apart from London that have an annual fashion week.

The NGI (Newcastle Gateshead Initiative) reports that expenditure increases are leading to higher visitor numbers per year to the city with "2016 seeing a 3% increase in visitor numbers to Newcastle-Gateshead culminating in a total of 17.38 million, emphasising the importance of visitors to the wider economy. Tourism continues to be the fourth largest sector in the North East."

The data shows that tourism is increasing very gradually, but could benefit more by attracting more tourism with less spending. Events are the biggest drive of tourism to a city and therefore it would be great to see Newcastle organising events that represent the North East talent and become recognised as annual celebrations.

What better way to do that than begin our very own fashion week in the city? A yearly celebration of small businesses and talented creative individuals who already contribute massively to our local economy.

Fashion United UK says "fashion weeks not only attract the fashion industry’s attention, they could even be seen as an industry by themselves. The biggest fashion weeks have an important economic impact in the cities they are held in, as does the fashion industry itself."

So why doesn't Newcastle have a fashion week yet? Is there a lack of interest or is it because there has not been a campaign yet to bring attention to why fashion week could be very beneficial to the city's economy.

Newcastle Fashion Week could be a privately funded event, which means no one would have to be taxed. An event where independent designers from across the North East come to celebrate and show off their designs.

I have so many ideas for promoting fashion awareness across the city of Newcastle with the aim of putting it back on the map. Starting my career, I want to put the time in outside of that to promote a fashion forward future by writing more posts, showcasing talented local designers through journalism and more. If anyone wants to join in and help do let me know.

I'm looking forward starting this campaign. Thanks for reading and remember to subscribe to the mailing list at the bottom of my homepage.

Izak x

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