Stepping up to the mic last night at Number 10 Downing Street was Natalie Massenet in her first official engagement as chairman of the British Fashion Council. Introduced by the prime minister’s wife, Samantha Cameron, in front of a government-endorsed reception for international press, buyers, and London designers, she gave a speech outlining London’s ambitions to forge ahead as a leader in business as well as creativity. Welcoming Diane von Furstenberg and Steven Kolb from the CFDA, she modestly noted how much Britain has to learn from America.
Her keynote, though—and one not normally voiced in the U.K.—was simply “Confidence.” Massenet gave special thanks to François-Henri Pinault, in attendance with Salma Hayek, and Donatella Versace, for being such great supporters of young British designers. On the heels of the recent news that Christopher Kane has joined forces with PPR—and is set for international expansion, a general cheer went up.