LONDON, United Kingdom — The result of Britain's EU referendum has unleashed market turmoil, political uncertainty and untold damage to the global fashion industry. In the hours and days after the vote, industry figures took to social media to voice their reactions to the outcome. Many said they were “angry” and “heartbroken.” Others, responding to questions from the media, said the Brexit vote was a “moment of madness” and a “step backwards."
Nick Knight, fashion photographer, said politicians on both the left and right had let Britain down. “Xenophobia, ignorance, stupidity and fear are now the forces driving this country," he wrote on Instagram. "This completely unnecessary referendum was called for self-serving political reasons by Cameron, who has now fled, leaving the country in the hands of nationalistic bigots and fools. I am ashamed, disgusted, heartbroken and very, very angry.”
“We need new leaders. Let's hear from them and support them now," wrote Sarah Mower, contributing editor at American Vogue, also on Instagram. "Yesterday there was a protest of 15,000 young people, some too young to vote, outside Westminster. So impressed it was young women. There are no acceptable leaders in this country. It has to come from this generation now.”
"Look who voted, it was the people from deep in the countryside, the big cities didn't want it at all," said Lagerfeld. "I don't think it will work out. They may have another vote. I don't think it is a good idea. The analysis of the vote shows that it is a bad decision. We don't need to say much more about it."
“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former — Albert Einstein,” José Neves, founder and chief executive, Farfetch posted on Twitter, quoting the theoretical physicist.
As the pound hit a 30-year low, Vanessa Friedman, fashion director at The New York Times retweeted: “Thanks to #brexit, UK no longer world's fifth largest economy. £ fell so much that France has overtaken UK.”
“It’s really sad. People were very confused about what they were voting for… It’s a nightmare,” Jonathan Anderson, creative director and designer, Loewe and J.W. Anderson told The New York Times, blaming the media on both sides of the debate for not doing a better job of explaining the actual issues at stake.
Adrian Joffe, president of Dover Street Market and Comme des Garçons told WWD the result was a clear step backwards. “Fuck democracy, we’re back in the Middle Ages. It’s not the modern world. The modern world is about being together and working together. I’m devastated. I want freedom of people, freedom of movement. For me, it’s anti-creative thinking.”
Caroline Issa, chief executive and fashion director, Tank Magazine, struck a resilient tone, writing on Instagram: “Very depressed about today's final result, but it’s time to buckle up and figure out (together) what will make Britain strong for the future.”