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Money-Makers: What London earns from London Fashion Week

By Vivian Hendriksz


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London - This Friday signals the start of the 65th edition of London Fashion Week, the bi-annual extravagance which draws in thousands of press, buyers and designers from 49 countries to the home of Big Ben to celebrate the best of local and international fashion. Running from February 17th to the 21st, 2017 London Fashion Week sees the launch of a new format known as London Fashion Week Festival, which which included a new home at The Store Studios at 180 Strand. With 51 catwalk shows and 32 presentations taking place on schedule, as well as off schedule shows, events and presentations, this LFW Autumn/Winter 2017-2018 season welcomes a number of new designers and brands to its schedule, such as Roland Mouret, Hill & Friends and Ports 1961 as well as established designers and fashion houses, including Simone Rocha, Sophia Webster and Teatum Jones.

Interested in reading more on how much money London Fashion Week, and other international fashion weeks generate? Then click here to read ‘The Top 20 Money-Making Fashion Weeks You May Not Know’.

British luxury fashion house Burberry is set to present its womenswear and menswear collections side by side once more on Monday evening, leading the way for co-ed fashions shows. It not uncommon for larger fashion houses to invest thousands of pounds, euros or dollars on a single fashion week event, as the bi-annual fashion showcase acts as one of their largest advertising tools, whereas upcoming designers can receive support from different funds or organizations such as the BFC Education Foundation, NEWGEN and Fashion East The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the city itself are firm supporters of London Fashion Week, which should come as little surprise considering the UK fashion industry contributions 28 billion pounds directly to the UK economy in 2014, according to Oxford Economics. But the question arises - what does the city of London gain from hosting fashion week? In this mini-series FashionUnited investigates how much money London earns from Fashion Week.

Key Figures for London Fashion Week AW17:

  • Unique visitors: 105,000
  • Total Income: 228 million pounds (278 million euros)
  • City Income: 44 million pounds
  • Business Income: 184 million pounds
  • Venue Income: 72.5 million pounds
  • Restaurant Income: 62.5 million pounds
  • Retail Income: 56 million pounds
  • Accommodation Income: 37 million pounds
  • Average Visitor Spend: 1,479 pounds (1,806 euros)

*The currency and foreign exchange rates used above are from early January 2017

Following the start of New York Fashion Week early this month, London Fashion Week follows on in an industry influx. Fashion brands and designers look the past for inspiration to help bolster consumers and buyers spirits in these uncertain times, offering them a form of comfort, escapism and strength in the face of the Brexit and Trump. Although New York Fashion Week still takes the cake when it comes to the most money generated during fashion week, it should come as no surprise that London comes in second place. Set to generate a total of 228 million pounds this season, London Fashion Week welcomes both local and international designers, highlighting its diverse appeal. Unsurprisingly this amount is less than the total income generated last season, which was 269 million pounds, which is likely in part due to uncertainties in the industry, as well as an increasing interest in Paris Fashion Week. Nevertheless, Internationally celebrated designers and brands set to show during London Fashion Week include Antonio Berardi, Anya Hindmarch, Charlotte Olympia, Emilia Wickstead, Erdem, Gareth Pugh,J.W. Anderson, Margaret Howell, Marques’Almeida, Mary Katrantzou,Peter Pilotto, Roksanda and Temperley London.

However, although the event itself generates 228 million pounds - how much of this actually goes to the city of London itself? In order to calculate the main costs and income each city generates during fashion week, FashionUnited looked at the number of visitors each fashion week brings to the city; the average income and spend per visitor per fashion week; local hotel and food costs; sales taxes and applicable tourist fees, as well as an corporate taxes and external expenditure. London Fashion Week is expected to welcome over 105,000 unique visitors during the week, who are expected to spend on average approximately 1,479 pounds during their stay. This will be spent on things such as accommodation, food - two of the most pricey expenditures in London - but also retail as many fashionista’s will undoubtedly be inspired to shop for a new look after seeing the latest collections hit the catwalks. In addition, designers and fashion houses who are not showing at the new LFW hub at the Store Studios will have to rent out a suitable venue for their London Fashion Week event, spending in total approximately 72.5 million pounds on venues.

The city of London is set to benefit from all these extra spends, as it will receive tax from the income generated by restaurants, businesses, retail stores, hotels and venues during London Fashion Week. In fact, the city itself is set to receive a total of 44 million pounds this Autumn/Winter 2017 fashion week season, according to calculations from FashionUnited, which means the event is set to generate a total of 88 million pounds for the city this year alone. For a city which prides itself on being one of the leading global fashion capitals, it is not a bad income. All expenses used in FashionUnited’s calculations are based on an academic research on New York Fashion Week from 2014, which divides income from several sources including local venues, retail stores, restaurants and hotels and is verified by NYCEDC. FashionUnited’s AW17 updated has been verified by the local municipality of London.

London is the second highest generating global fashion week, according to FashionUnited's calculations following the Big Apple. Interested in reading more on how much money other global fashion weeks arund the world generate? Then click here

FashionUnited will be attending the leading shows and events at London Fashion Week this season, so stay tuned for more in-depth coverage.

Homepage Photo: Eudon Choi SS17, Courtesy of London Fashion Week

Photo 1: London skyline, Courtesy of London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week