London Fashion Week (LFW) is a clothing trade show that takes place in London twice a year, in February and September. Showcasing over 250 designers to a global audience of influential media and retailers, it is one of the ’Big Four’ fashion weeks, along with the New York, Milan and Paris
Organised by the British Fashion Council (BFC) for the London Development Agency with help from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, London Fashion Week first took place in October 1983. It currently ranks alongside New York, Paris and Milan as one of the ‘Big Four’ fashion weeks. It presents itself to funders as a trade event that also attracts significant press attention and benefit to taxpayers. It states that it is attended by over 5,000 press and buyers, and has estimated orders of over £100 million. A retail-focused event, London Fashion Week Festival, takes place immediately afterwards at the same venue and is open to the general public.
On-schedule events used to take place either at the British Fashion Council’s own show space, 180 Strand, or at external locations around central London.
During SS16 (shown September 2015) and AW16 (shown February 2016), British Fashion Council made the decision to host the designers’ showrooms to the ‘Vinyl Factory’, situated at the active car park in Soho, off Brewer Street.
Following increasing numbers of anti-fur protesters, the London Fashion Week held in September 2018 was the first major fashion week to be fur-free.
London Fashion Week Men’s
In June 2012, London introduced London Collections: Men, in addition to the collections shows in spring / summer and autumn / winter. Since its first instalment, the showcase has grown by 67% and included 77 separate designers in June 2015. London Collections: Men was renamed from the Autumn/Winter 2017 season as London Fashion Week Men’s, to help better reflect the growing consumer focus of the event.
London is known for its rich and diverse fashion scene. The city has a long history of influencing and being influenced by fashion trends, and it plays a significant role in the global fashion industry. Some are the key aspects of London’s fashion scene:
- Fashion Weeks: London Fashion Week is one of the “Big Four” fashion weeks in the world, alongside those in New York, Milan, and Paris. It takes place twice a year, in February/March and September/October. During these weeks, designers, fashion houses, and brands showcase their latest collections to the global fashion industry and press.
- Diversity: London is celebrated for its cultural diversity, and this diversity is reflected in its fashion scene. The city is known for its inclusive approach to fashion, with a wide range of styles, cultures, and subcultures coexisting and influencing each other.
- Street Style: London is famous for its street style, with fashion-forward individuals expressing their unique tastes and trends on the streets. Areas like Shoreditch and Camden are particularly known for their eclectic and trendsetting street fashion.
- Emerging Designers: London has a thriving community of emerging designers and fashion schools, including Central Saint Martins and the London College of Fashion. These institutions have produced some of the world’s most renowned fashion talents.
- High-End Boutiques: London boasts a plethora of high-end boutiques and luxury fashion stores, particularly in areas like Mayfair and Knightsbridge, home to famous department stores like Harrods and Harvey Nichols.
- Vintage and Thrift Shops: The city is also a paradise for vintage fashion enthusiasts, with numerous vintage and thrift shops offering a wide range of clothing and accessories from various eras.
- Savile Row: Savile Row in London is legendary for its bespoke tailoring. It’s where you’ll find some of the world’s finest tailors and custom-made suits, catering to a discerning clientele.
- Ethical and Sustainable Fashion: London has a growing interest in ethical and sustainable fashion. Many designers and brands based in the city are committed to environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices.
- Fashion Influencers: London is home to many fashion influencers and bloggers who contribute to the city’s vibrant online fashion community. They often attend fashion events, promote brands, and showcase their unique styles on social media.
- Cultural Events: London’s fashion scene is closely intertwined with cultural events and exhibitions. Museums like the Victoria and Albert Museum often host fashion exhibitions, highlighting the historical and artistic aspects of fashion.
In summary, London’s fashion scene is a dynamic and influential part of the global fashion industry. Its diversity, creativity, and historical significance make it a hub for fashion enthusiasts, designers, and industry professionals from around the world.