Is Edinburgh's Royal Mile now too tacky for tourists?
In recent news reports during March 2010 it has been revealed that Edinburgh has been advised to 'tidy-up' the image of its Royal Mile by removing traditional, 'tacky' souvenir shops, in a bid to attract more up-market and stylish independent shops. Since 2007 there have been calls by local businesses and community groups in the area to address the levels of 'tourist tat' that clutter up one of the city's most historic thoroughfares. Edinburgh's city council itself, however, is responsible for much of this clutter, since they are also the landlords to a third of the retail units on the street. Since tourism as whole is worth 1.7 billion to Edinburgh per annum the seemingly down-market appearance of the street is therefore a key concern. While on the one had these shops serve the need of visitors who seek to bring home something Scottish to remind them of their trip, they do not appeal to all. As Edinburgh seeks to up-grade its image as national capital city, with such stylish venues as the recently opened Hotel Missoni, it will be interesting to see how the city council seeks to re-address the balance between the 'tartan tat' and the high-quality cashmere and handcraft-items that Scotland is also renowned for. Edinburgh is not alone in this battle between keeping up the appearance of historic areas and the need for generating income from visitors to the city. Amsterdam's Damrak and the streets around Notre Dame on the Ile-de-la-Cite in Paris also suffer from this apparent bane of commercialisation. No doubt the city councils and tourist authorities of these and other cities will be keeping an eye on developments in Edinburgh with interest.

Do you have a comment or view on this story? If so, you can let us know by E-mail at: info@fashion-souvenirs.com

Call for Submissions
Over the next few months Fashion Souvenirs is looking for contributions to our open-submission exhibition in the form of photos and comments about your own Fashion Souvenir experiences. To get you thinking, here are some of the up-coming themes we are interested to have contributions to:

- Ski and Snow Fashion. Fashion Souvenirs from Winter Resorts and Ski Wear.
- 'I heart ...'. T-shirts featuring variations of Milton Glaser's famous 'I heart NY'. Show us who do you 'heart': Liverpool, Hackney, Paris, Buenos Aires, Singapore, Auckland ...
- Romance. Souvenirs from Romantic Cities Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Prague, Venice.
- Celtic Connections. Souvenirs from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany.
- Varsity Style. Fashion Souvenirs from Colleges, Universities or favourite
sports teams.
- Small Countries and Islands. Fashion Souvenirs from those, smaller,
unusual holiday destinations Bhutan, Luxembourg, Vatican City, Gibraltar, Aruba, Mauritius.
- Mediterranean Treasures. Fashion Souvenirs from the Balearics, Tunisia, Egypt, Cyprus, the Lebanon, Malta, Sicily.
- Scandi-Style. Viking helmets from Sweden, leather boots from Lapland, knitted sweaters from Iceland.
- Americana and Hawaii. Fashion Souvenirs from the USA and Hawaiian Shirts.
- Clandestine Gifts. Cosmetics and bathrobes 'borrowed' from the hotel, a fake watch from the late night market.

All contributions can be sent to: submissions@fashion-souvenirs.com

Exhibition Showcase: 14--22 January 2010
Fashion Souvenirs: A cultural exploration of fashion's search for the authentic
is to be showcased in the Research section of the Royal College Of Art's School
of Fashion and Textiles Work-in-Progress Exhibition.

The showcase will see the launch of the first Fashion Souvenirs exhibition brochure, and visitors will be able to submit their own comments and experiences via the Fashion Souvenirs Comments Box.

On the evening of the exhibition's Private View, 13th January 2010 18.30--21.00, Fashion Souvenir's Curator, and RCA MPhil/PhD Candidate, Nathaniel Dafydd Beard will be available to talk about the Fashion Souvenirs project and exhibition, and will also be photographing attendees who bring along their own Fashion Souvenirs on the night.

14--22 January 2010, 10:00--18:00 daily
Henry Moore Gallery, Royal College of Art
London SW7 2EU

Tube: South Kensington
Bus: 9, 10, 52 and 452
Exhibition closed Sun 17 Jan

Fashion Souvenirs is looking for Sponsors and Venues
As part of the ongoing development of the Fashion Souvenirs we are looking for potential partners who can offer support or sponsorship to facilitate this. We are also actively investigating the possibility of staging Fashion Souvenirs as a touring exhibition to include the artefacts and research material generated as result of the online exhibition.

If you are interested to find out more, or to offer advice or support as either
a potential sponsor or venue host then please get in touch.