Fashion Industry Guide

fashion images

Here you will find sources of information such as market research (statistics, trends, developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, and Internet sources.

This guide will be useful to anyone starting a business within the fashion industry and also for those wanting to further their knowledge within this area.

Start-Up Information


COBRA logo

The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.


Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP)

Bridalwear Boutique BOP200
Childrenswear Retailer BOP524
Designer Fashion Boutique BOP272
Discount Clothing Shop BOP359
Dress and Suit Hire BOP139
Dressmaker BOP107
Fashion Designer BOP003
Fashion Accessories Retailer BOP109
Lingerie Retailer BOP344
Menswear Retailer BOP441
Vintage Clothing Retailer BOP562
Women’s Fashion Retailer BOP300


Mini Business Opportunity Profiles (MBP)

Ethnic Clothing Retailer MBP406
Goth Clothing Shop MBP328
Indian Fashion Retailer MBP358
Milliner MBP279
Outsize Clothing Shop MBP236


Industry Snapshot (SYN)

Fashion Retail SYN005


Sector Guide (SEC)

Fashion Retail – Coronavirus Update SEC108


Market Research & Statistics

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.

EMIS logo

  • United Kingdom – Apparel Retail


IBISWorld logo

  • Bridal Stores in the UK
  • Clothing & Footwear Wholesaling in the UK
  • Clothing Manufacturing in the UK
  • Clothing Retailing in the UK
  • Online Women’s Clothing Retailing in the UK
  • Plus-Size Women’s Clothing Stores in the UK


Mintel logo

  • Childrenswear
  • Clothing Retailing
  • Designer Fashion
  • Fashion Online
  • Fashion & Sustainability
  • Fashion: Technology & Innovation
  • Menswear
  • Purchasing Journey for Fashion
  • Summer Fashion (incl Swimwear)
  • Sports Fashion
  • Underwear
  • Womenswear


Passport logo

  • Apparel Accessories in the United Kingdom
  • Apparel and Footwear in the United Kingdom
  • Apparel and Footwear Specialist Retailers in the United Kingdom
  • Childrenswear in the United Kingdom
  • Designer Apparel and Footwear (Ready-To-Wear) in the United Kingdom
  • Menswear in the United Kingdom
  • Sportswear in the United Kingdom
  • Womenswear in the United Kingdom


Local Data Online

Provides a birds-eye view of the makeup and complexity of the retail and leisure offering in a chosen location.

Review key trends over time:

  • Vacancy rates
  • Occupancy trends
  • Retail mix

Understand demand profiles through demographic data such as:

  • Employment statistics
  • Average weekly earnings
  • Crime rates
  • Unemployment
  • House prices

Also, contact details and individual reports of companies in the digital communications industry are available from our electronic sources: Market IQ.


Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching Factiva, Business Source Complete and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.


Trade Magazines and Newsletters

Useful for gaining inside knowledge, recent trends, industry news, company profiles, reviews of new products and services. Some contain annual reviews and company contact lists. Ordered via Explore the British Library (please ask for help).

Drapers (Emap fashion)
Formed by the union of Drapers Record and Men’s Wear. Fashion business magazine covering news, trends and business advice on womenswear, childrenswear, lingerie, textiles and accessories.

Retail Week (Emap)
Newspaper for retail sector. Includes news on large chains and multiples, shopping centres, trends, sales, marketing and advertising campaigns, property, interiors, company and people profiles, sector reports, rankings, technology, services, job adverts.

Vogue (Condé Nast Publications Ltd)
A monthly fashion and lifestyle magazine covering the latest fashion and jewellery trends. Held from 1916 to date.

Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.

Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry

ASBCI brings together the clothing industry from all sectors of the supply chain – from fibre manufacture through to garment manufacture, distribution, retail and aftercare – and provides a platform for exchange of ideas and knowledge.

British Fashion Model Agents Association 

The BFMAA is the trade association of the UK model industry. Formerly the Association of Model Agents, it was founded in 1974 to protect and manage the careers of their models.

Centre for Fashion Enterprise

By way of a four-level programme offering, CFE provides expert guidance in the fields of finance, legal, manufacturing and marketing. From strategic advice on progressive business solutions to bespoke mentoring from industry leaders and key influencers.

Chartered Society of Designers

Professional body representing fashion and textile designers, offering chartered status, membership services, career advice and training.

Cockpit Arts

Cockpit Arts are a creative business incubator, providing affordable studio space and an array of support services which help designer-makers to accelerate their businesses whilst growing creatively.

Fashion Angel

Offer a range of business input and support options whether strategic, operational or preparing a business for investment, also mentoring, workshops and networking events and business funding.

Fashion United

The latest fashion news, links to fashion/apparel websites and jobs on the Fashion Career Centre.

Fashion Network

Online services for fashion professionals, present in 25 countries. Core UK activities include a fashion jobs site and a daily online newsletter with fashion business news.


News, features, designer biographies, ‘how to’ guides, designers sites, online shopping, selected sites, etc.

Just Style

For apparel, footwear, sportswear and textile industry professionals worldwide. Contains extensive summaries from reports by Key Note, Mintel, Business Intelligence, Retail Intelligence, Reuters Business Insight, etc. Latest news blog.

London Fashion Week

Organised by the British Fashion Council and serves as a platform for British design talent. Gives daily schedule for London Fashion Week.

The Business of Fashion: BoF

Fashion News, Analysis and Business Intelligence from the leading digital authority on the global fashion industry.

The Chartered Textile Institute

This professional institute is a registered charity set up to support and inform all sectors and disciplines in textiles, clothing and footwear. Within the global textiles, clothing and footwear industries the aim of the Institute is to facilitate learning, to recognise achievement, to reward excellence and to disseminate information.

The Design Trust

The Design Trust is an online business school for designers and makers. Their free resources include a regular newsletter, and an opportunities and business training listing.

The Fashion Law

A showcase of emerging and established talent in the fields of fashion, art and music and a source of objective fashion law and business commentary.

UK Fashion & Textile Association

UKFT guides and advises its members on all the essential aspects of running a business and supplying clothing and knitwear to the global marketplace. Provides a monthly newsletter and runs a series of seminars throughout the year.


Has more than 25 fashion blogs covering beauty, fashion, and culture. You can also find VogueTV which features recent fashion videos from catwalks to interviews with models and designers and the latest fashion show highlights.

Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk.

Images by, beyrouth, anne.oeldorfhirsch under a Creative Commons license

Skip to content