Danish fashion a hit abroad

Despite challenges within Denmark’s retail sector, international exports within the fashion industry bring in billions

As Copenhagen Fashion Week gets underway today, it isn't just the heels walking down the runway that are high. So too are the expectations of the domestic fashion industry, which hopes the event will attract buyers from all over the world and build upon the global financial success of Danish fashion. 

According to public broadcaster DR, the industry had a turnover of 38.6 billion kroner in 2012, 22.7 billion of which came from exporting to the international market. Thus far in 2013, international exports have accounted for 9.2 billion kroner, a 2.6 percent increase over this time last year. 

Exports to our southern neighbours in Germany have increased at an even greater speed, growing by 9.3 percent so far this year and accounting for 215 million kroner, according to Michael Hillmose, the international director of the national trade association for textile and clothing companies, Dansk Mode & Textil. But it isn't just Germany that is nudging Denmark's international fashion industry in a positive direction. 

International exports to the UK have risen by 14.7 percent and by 8.7 percent to Norway this year.

"The rise in exports has been nearly constant over the last 15 years," Hillmose told DR Nyheder. "There has indeed been some turbulence due to the crisis but we have already surpassed our goals based on these limitations and are growing at a steady rate. We should be pleased with that."

As Copenhagen Fashion Week opens its doors today, the event is one more way to catch the foreign market's eye. It is an opportunity for Danish companies to display their fashion on their home turf but it is far from the only effort made by Danish companies to secure a global reach.

"Over the next three to four months there will be trade shows all over the world and it is crucial that we be part of it – and we will," Hillmose told DR.      

The retail industry in Denmark continues to be at somewhat of a standstill, but Hillmose said that online shopping has been able to compensate somewhat for in-store losses. But the companies that have survived the Great Recession have also gained from the situation.

"The companies that remain are stronger now because of their ability to adapt and adjust," Hillmose said.      





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