London Fashion Week designers to stage consumer-facing catwalks
Several high-profile London Fashion Week designers have signed up to stage consumer-facing catwalk shows at London Fashion Weekend, which takes place two days after the main fashion week from 25-28 February. Names who will be staging shows for the public include Holly Fulton, Mary Katrantzou, Emilia Wickstead and Temperley London, according to WWD.
The four designers will each headline one day of the event, which is staged at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea with their show repeated up to four times per day. A spokesman for the British Fashion Council, which owns London Fashion Week, said it had seen an increase in interest from brands and designers in showing at London Fashion Weekend "as the event offers the opportunity to reach a targeted and focused consumer audience of more than 16,000 people.”
London Fashion Weekend also features a shoppable exhibition of more than 150 men's and women's brands, expert industry talks with names such as designers Charlotte Olympia, Nicholas Kirkwood, Pam Hogg and Katharine Hamnett, stylist William Baker and model agent Carole White. Ticket prices for the event range from £20 to £200.
The news comes as Fashion Weeks globally are repositioning from trade-only events to including more consumer-facing initiatives. Social media has revolutionised consumers' access to shows and this is now being embraced with Fashion Weeks, in all likelihood, eventually evolving into a showcase of the current season for consumers, rather than a six-month-ahead preview of the next season for trade buyers and press.
London Collections Men, which ended earlier this week, featured a number of initiatives to engage the public including highlights broadcast on big screens at Piccadilly Circus, live streaming of shows on its website and a series of talks with experts held at London's Century Club.
Meanwhile New York Fashion Week owner, the CFDA, has recently appointed Boston Consulting Group to investigate the option of staging consumer-facing events.