Highlights from the UK Fashion & Textile Mission to CEE
The Department for International Trade, in collaboration with UKFT, held a trade mission to Prague to explore the potential for UK brands in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in October. 15 UK brands joined the mission and some of them have already closed partnerships and are selling to the CEE region.
Gillian and Richard Taylor, directors of GH Hurt & Son, said the event had a good balance between information and introductions to potential partners in the region.
“We met several potential partners, agents and distributors,” said Richard Taylor. “Some of these conversation were extremely productive and we will be following up with these new contacts. Lastly, the Thursday tour was also extremely useful.”
Zulima Villar, new business development at Closet London, said she found the event particularly successful as she had the time to present the brand and product, as well as to have meetings with potential partners, and contacts that the company can liaise with to pursue new businesses.
“I had the chance to meet distributors, agents, buyers from department stores, shopping malls operators that offered pop up opportunities, and even had the chance to network with not only other brands, but with DIT advisors from other regions,” she explained. “The visit to the UK Ambassador’s house was also extremely beneficial as it was a good moment to network and speak to everyone we didn’t have the time during the 1-2-1 afternoon meeting.”
She went on to add: “This event was a key event for us as it opened the doors to us in the CEE region, gave us the opportunity to showcase our brand and inspired us to open our boundaries for new business models such as pop ups and franchises. “
Paul Alger MBE, director of international business at UKFT, said: “Based on the conversations I have had so far, all the British companies were pleased with the contacts they made and their time in the market.
“All of them expect new business to result in the near to mid-future. I also came away with the contact details of not one but three local tailors who are keen to be introduced to British textile manufacturers, so that was a direct win for us also.”