New Year, new London Fashion Week; as announced last October, the British Fashion Council (BFC) is overhauling its bi-annual events, London Fashion Week and London Fashion Weekend.
This February will witness their relocation to the home of the London Fashion Week Men’s, The Store Studios, 180 The Strand. In uniting the three biggest events in British fashion, the BFC hopes to create ‘a fashion and cultural hub in the heart of London’.
“Incorporating everything into one space”, Alex Woodfield (the BFC’s senior events manager) explains, “not only cements our influence over London in one central location but also streamlines our onsite delivery.”
Previously the Store Studios have proved themselves the perfect location for fashion events, having played host to the Louis Vuitton Series 3 exhibition and the Christopher Kane, Roksanda and Thomas Tait runway shows.
Also announced was the rebranding of the London Fashion Weekend which, from 2017 onwards, will be known as the London Fashion Week Festival.
Taking place twice a year (in February and September), the Festival will merge with London Fashion Week, resulting in a ten-day fashion extravaganza and city-wide celebration of the Fashion Industry and its place in the British economy. The decision comes as part of the BFC’s ongoing dedication to building and nurturing consumer engagement with British designers, an ethos that has been at the heart of the London Fashion Weekend since its introduction in 1998.
So what will the Festival offer? The main focus of the Festival is a ticketed event, allowing guests access to catwalk shows, talks with industry insiders, and a unique shopping experience where designers and their teams – from over 150 British and international brands – host curated pop-up shops.
The BFC hopes that the Festival, which will include digital engagement and planned events across the city of London, will foster celebration of the fashion industry in the UK and further cement London’s place as a fashion, business and cultural capital.
Following the events of last summer (namely Brexit) the rebrand comes as a tactically timed message to the global community: it says welcome, London is open for business.
Fashion Week Events this February:
London Fashion Week Men’s: 6-9 January 2017
London Fashion Week: 17-21 February 2017
London Fashion Week Festival: 23-26 February 2017
Words: Esther Newman