What Does The British Fashion Industry Think of the 'Brexit'?
As The Clash famously asked in 1981, “Should I stay or should I go?” Well, now it’s up to British citizens, as they head to the polls and vote on the Brexit, which could change the country forever. If the Brexit were to pass, Britain would leave the European Union, functioning separately from the rest of partnership (check out this video from John Oliver for a more in-depth look at the Brexit’s wide-ranging implications).
According to the BBC, the British public is fairly evenly split on the issue. But public figures (well, at least the cool ones) generally want to #VoteRemain–everybody from business magnate Richard Branson to artist Wolfgang Tillmans to James Bond to Prime Minister David Cameron wants to stay in the EU (although British national treasures Michael Caine and John Cleese want to leave).
So, what do the biggest names in fashion think of the referendum that could allow Britain to sashay away from the EU? Burberry already joined nearly 200 other heads of companies last February in opposition of the bill. Now, fresh off the London Collection Mens shows, members of the fashion industry have put away their fabric scissors to speak out about whether Britain should work it out, or break up with the EU like a bad marriage. Here’s what Britain’s fashionable creatives had to say.
Vivienne Westwood Encourages Britain to Stay
It’s no surprise that Westwood would jump into the conversation about the Brexit, given that her collections and off-the-runway antics are almost always politically infused. I mean, she rode on top of a tank last year. There was no way she would sit by and let this issue pass. She posted on Instagram in favor of voting to stay, and she also included one of Tillmans’ Pro Remain posters.
Edie Campbell Wants To Be Inside EU
The model, equestrian, and burgeoning clothing patch entrepreneur is firmly in. She posted on Instagram with “I’m In” written on her hands, as well as a heartfelt message. “I don’t want to be part of a country that is fearful of the unknown, afraid of the outside world,” she wrote. “I want to be a country that is connected, that is part of something bigger than itself.”
I don't want to be part of a country that is fearful of the unknown, afraid of the outside world, that builds walls and barriers, looking back through rose tinted glasses at a nostalgic vision of the past that never existed anyway. I want to be a country that is connected, that is part of something bigger than itself, that looks outwards and to a future full of positivity. I want to be part of the wider European community. Our world is a global world. Let's remain a part of it. #VOTEREMAIN #BABYITSCOLDOUTSIDE #THEINCROWD
Nick Knight: “No Man Is An Island”
Fashion photographer and SHOWstudio founder Nick Knight also shared one of Tillmans’ powerful posters, which declare that “No man is an island. No country by itself.”
The Sibling Designers Show Their Support With ‘In’ Shirts
When they appeared for their bow at the end of their runway show, Sibling designers Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery had on shirts that said “In.” The duo have been vocal on their brand’s Instagram about staying in the EU.
Victoria and David Beckham Vote ‘Remain’
Despite the recent resurfacing of statements she made in 1996 about utilizing a single currency throughout the European Union, Posh Spice remains committed to staying a part of the EU. David, meanwhile, adjusted his famous Beckham briefs and quoted his time as part of the multinational soccer team Manchester United as his reason for voting to stay.
In response to the @leave.eu campaign who have today tried to put a spin on quotes made 20 years ago about keeping or losing the pound, I have to say strongly my comments were not about this referendum and should not be misused in this way! I believe in my country, I believe in a future for my children where we are stronger together and I support the #remain campaign. @strongerineurope
I'm passionate about my country and whatever the result of Thursday's referendum, we will always be Great. Each side has the right to their opinion and that should always be respected whatever the outcome of the European Referendum. I played my best years at my boyhood club, Manchester United. I grew up with a core group of young British players that included Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville Brothers. Added to that was an experienced group of older British players such as Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce and Paul Ince. Now that team might have gone on to win trophies but we were a better and more successful team because of a Danish goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel, the leadership of an Irishman Roy Keane and the skill of a Frenchman in Eric Cantona. I was also privileged to play and live in Madrid, Milan and Paris with teammates from all around Europe and the world. Those great European cities and their passionate fans welcomed me and my family and gave us the opportunity to enjoy their unique and inspiring cultures and people. We live in a vibrant and connected world where together as a people we are strong. For our children and their children we should be facing the problems of the world together and not alone. For these reasons I am voting to Remain
Phillip J. Ellis Votes to Stay with English Proverbs and Symbols
The Central Saint Martins graduate unveiled a collection that infused old English proverbs and patriotic symbols. “I think that, on a personal level, my life wouldn’t be as great without the EU,” he told Dazed (which is also firmly pro-remain).
Daniel W. Fletcher Uses His Collection to Protest the Brexit
25-year-old designer Daniel W. Fletcher came out in force with a collection embroidered with messages to “stay” on hats, jumpers, and flags. He recruited a group of friends to stage a demonstration outside the venue that also doubled as the presentation for his Spring ’17 collection.
Stay tuned to Milk for more Brexit news.
Images via The Independent and Vogue UK.