London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017 officially kicked off this morning with the debut menswear and womenswear catwalk show from British design label Teatum Jones. Set to run from September 16 to 20, the 64th edition of LFW will feature 83 designers presenting their SS17 collections on schedule - in addition to over 150 designers showcasing their designs in the Designer Showrooms at Brewer Street Car Park - which together generate orders of over 100 million pounds each season.
Featuring a variety of fashion events from catwalk shows to presentations, to 'see now, buy now' showcases, FashionUnited has listed the main, need-to-know figures and facts on London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017, as well as the womenswear fashion industry.
London Fashion Week focuses on the positives in light of Brexit
This season of LFW will see over 5,000 official guests flying in from 58 countries around the world, underlying the event's international appeal in light of the recent Brexit vote. The majority of the industry voted to remain within the European Union, but following the vote to exit the EU, most designers have decided to focus on the positives rather than the negatives. The British Fashion Council, together with the government continue to highlight the importance of the UK's fashion industry, which is one of the country's biggest sector.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, joined forces with the British Fashion Council this season to promote the strength of LFW and the UK fashion industry with the campaign #LondonIsOpen. "London Fashion Week begins today, showing that London is open to the world and is an international leader of creativity and entrepreneurship," said Khan. "There’s a fantastic range of designers and talent on the schedule this season, highlighting the very best the industry has to offer – from big brands to independent retailers, the London fashion scene has never been more diverse. The fashion industry epitomises all that is great about the capital and I’m delighted to see the British Fashion Council bring the industry together to support our #LondonIsOpen campaign."
Prime Minister Theresa May also shared her hopes for the future of the British fashion industry during a reception at 10 Downing Street Thursday night. According to recent figures published in June, the British fashion industry's worth to the British economy has increased 8 percent, growing from contributing 26 billion pounds in 2013 to 28 billion pounds in 2014. This increase is more than the UK gross domestic product (GDP) value, which only grew 5 percent during the same period. In addition, employment in the industry has grown from 790,000 to 880,000 - double the national average, thanks to growth in retail, manufacturing and wholesale according to the 2016 Oxford Economics.
UK Fashion Industry worth more than UK GDP at 28 billion pounds
Womenswear in the UK continues to do particularly well, with ready-to-wear womenswear sales hitting 27 billion pounds in 2015, according to retail research firm Mintel. This figure is predicted to increase by 23 percent by 2020 to reach 32 billion pounds, which is significantly more than its male counterpart, which is predict to hit 17.3 billion pounds in 2020. Although consumers in Birmingham and Newcastle spend the most on fashion within the UK's top 10 cities, shoppers in London remained the most positive and likely to spend more on fashion within the next 12 months, according to a report from Savills and intu.
Although studies show that the more satisfy shoppers are with their local fashion retail offering the less likely they are to shop online, UK consumers still managed to spend 12.4 billion pounds on fashion online within the country in 2015, reports Mintel. This is 16 percent more than the 10.7 billion pounds spend in 2014. As more designers and fashion labels shift their business models in order to offer consumers instant gratification by offering collections for sale the moment they are shown on the catwalk, this amount is only likely to continue growing, as consumers seek out immediacy in terms of fashion trends.
With most designers and retailers live-streaming their shows or presentations to viewers at home, London Fashion Week continues to be more and more accessible to the public as well. This LFW will see a total of 20 Ocean Outdoor screens placed in public spots across Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Manchester, featuring special fashion week content for audiences to watch on the go. Unsurprisingly this marketing push, led by designers and fashion week organisers alike has also led to an increase public interaction with LFW online. Last London Fashion Week, which took place in February, saw 128,162 mentions of #LFW on Twitter and over 75,000 images tagged #LFW on Instagram - figures which are more than likely to increase this season.
London Fashion Week welcomes returning and emerging designers with gusto for SS17
Considering that London Fashion Week was founded on a mere 1,000 pounds by Tony Porter 40 years ago, the fashion event has certainly grown. This season of LFW welcomes back leading international designers to its schedule, including MM6 and Versus Versace. First time catwalk attendees include Sharon Wauchob, Huishan Zhang, and Molly Goddard. Designer labels hosting their debut LFW presentations include Aquascutum, Globe-Trotter, Malone Souliers, Paula Knorr, Piers Atkinson and ROBERTS|WOOD. Paula Knorr is one of the most recent NEWGEN recipients, and joins fellow recipients Ashley Williams, Marta Jakubowski, Sadie Williams and more in the NEWGEN showroom. 1 million pounds worth of pro-bono support has been provided to the BFC designers by BFC partners and mentors, in addition to over 10,000 hours of support provided in 2015 to ensure upcoming and emerging designer receive all the tools they need to succeed.