London Mayor Sadiq Khan officially opened London Fashion Week Men’s this morning and hailed the event a “truly international celebration of fashion, design and creativity”.
This is the first outing of the official men’s fashion week under its new name; for the previous nine editions it was known as London Collections Men but was renamed by the British Fashion Council to “recognise its equal importance to womenswear and better engage with a consumer audience”.
Khan, who attended the opening with deputy mayor for culture Justine Simons, said: “As Mayor, I’m proud to be able to provide funding to support this event and the next generation of London designers. Fashion is the largest employer of all our creative industries, supporting almost 800,000 jobs and worth an astonishing £28bn to the UK economy.”
“From Burberry to Stella McCartney, Agi & Sam to Vivienne Westwood, London has been at the forefront of modern fashion, shaping and defining the latest styles and trends for decades. Today, press and buyers from as far away as Beijing and Seoul and Montreal will flock to London Fashion Week Men’s, showing that London is truly open to business, talent and visitors from across the globe,” Khan added.
Dylan Jones OBE, London Fashion Week Men’s Chair and editor of men’s style bible GQ was also at the opening and added: “London has always prided itself on showcasing creativity, particularly when it comes to fashion, and as the city has always been a keen exponent of the traditional and the rebellious, it’s no surprise that in the last six months, our capital has become even more renowned as a centre of excellence.”
The men’s clothing market grew by 4.1% in 2015 to reach £14.1bn (up from £13.5billion in 2014). This is compared to 3.7% growth in womenswear and menswear now accounts for 25% of the total clothing market. It is predicted to grow by 22.5% between 2015 and 2020 to reach £17.3bn, according to Mintel.
Highlights of this edition of London Fashion Week Men’s include the return of Vivienne Westwood to London; Westwood will be showing a joint men’s and women’s show on Monday evening. A number of other brands will be staging joint men’s and women’s shows including Belstaff, Christopher RÆBURN, Nigel Cabourn and YMC, while those showing “see now, buy now” include Barbour, Chester Barrie, John Smedley and Maharishi.
London Fashion Week Men’s runs from 6-9 January. Its main base is at The Store Studios, 180 Strand but events will take place across the capital.