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London Fashion Week relocates and new Festival is annouced

Lauretta Roberts
28 October 2016

London Fashion Week has revealed its new home, The Store Studios at 180 Strand, the same location as London Fashion Week Men's. In addition owner the British Fashion Council has announced that public facing event London Fashion Weekend will be rebranded as the London Fashion Week Festival and will also take place at the venue.

The London Fashion Week Festival, which was first held in 1998 and was latterly staged at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, will enable those in the industry (designers, retailers, culture institutions, industry partners) to engage with consumers and high-net worth individuals. It will do this through digital engagement and events throughout the city, consolidating the fact that London is a fashion, business and cultural capital and is open for business, the British Fashion Council said.

The main focus of the London Fashion Week Festival is a ticketed event which gives access to catwalk shows, talks and a shopping experience, where designers and their teams host curated pop-up shops, from more than 150 international and British brands.

Moving to The Store Studios will help the British Fashion Council in its aim to create a "fashion and cultural hub" in the centre of London. The location at 180 Strand is a key connecting area for North, South, East and West London and has easy access to the river as well as to main central areas such as Covent Garden and Southbank.

The Store Studios are currently showcasing The Infinite Mix exhibition, curated by the Hayward Gallery, and has previously hosted the Louis Vuitton Series 3 exhibition, and the Christopher Kane, Roksanda and Thomas Tait runway shows, as well as London Fashion Week Men's.

Prior to The Store Studios, London Fashion Week had been held at Brewer Street Car Park in Soho (which was always known to be a temporary location) and before that Somerset House.

British Fashion Council CEO Caroline Rush CBE said brands and designers were increasingly interested in direct engagement with the customer, hence the major focus on the London Fashion Week Festival. "We saw this in September with the see-now-buy-now collections," she said.

"The BFC has always encouraged this kind of innovation while making sure that our showcasing platforms remain strong opportunities for the designers to present their work to the industry. London Fashion Week and London Fashion Week Men’s will still showcase the best talent to industry professionals, giving the designers the opportunity to expand their businesses and get incredible international media exposure.

"London Fashion Week Festival is a natural continuation of the increasingly popular London Fashion Weekend. Housing the Festival at The Store Studios will reinforce the importance of offering direct to consumer experiences and insights into the fashion industry and there will be a lot of different ways for the public and businesses to get involved," Rush added.

The dates for the next editions are:

London Fashion Week Men’s: 6-9 January 2017
London Fashion Week: 17-21 February 2017
London Fashion Week Festival: 23-26 February 2017

Tickets for the first London Fashion Week Festival will go on sale on 1 November.

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