155 – Creating change in the UK fashion industry – Lee Akpareva

Lee Akpareva is a fashion designer, tailor and technology consultant. 

He’s also creative director of Never Fade, a fashion store and creative space on Old Compton Street in London.

We chat about collaborations within the fashion industry, helping new designers get a head start, and how blockchain and technology are impacting the fashion industry and manufacturing.


  • About Lee and his background before becoming a designer 02:40
  • Having a second-life career 05:34
  • Why he decided to go to fashion school as a mature student 07:58
  • How he started working with Never Face 10:27
  • About the Never Fade store and the designers they work with 12:17
  • Why Lee is focusing on UK production 15:32
  • How they select the up-and-coming designers for Never Fade 16:09
  • How money and funding is a big constraint for new designers 17:43
  • Why there’s not more diversity in fashion colleges 18:21
  • Why aren’t there more black tailors? 21:40
  • Lee’s future plans for his business? 23:23
  • Why collaboration is the way forward for the industry 25:31
  • The rise of Blockchain and NFC 26:26
  • The rise of ‘digital’ clothing and accessories 29:32
  • The adoption of technology in fashion manufacturing 32:35
  • How we can reinvigorate our high streets 37:06

More about Lee Akpareva

Lee Akpareva on Instagram


Stay in Touch

British Brand Accelerator – Find out how you can work with me to build your British-made brand

Make it British website

Join Make it British – become a member of our community and promote your business in our directory or UK-made brands and manufacturers

Make it British on Instagram

Make it British on YouTube – subscribe to my YouTube channel to watch many of the podcast episodes as videos.