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Gucci disrupts London Fashion Week

20 Sept 2011


Imagine you are about to show your collection to international press and buyers, and half the models you have booked for the runway do not make your show. It's a designer's nightmare, not least for the casting director and production company

producing the show. That is precisely what happened at the end of London Fashion Week, when models confirmed for Todd Lynn, Temperley, Aquascutum Michael van der Ham and Louise Gray instead where sent to Milan to attend a casting for Gucci.

fashion week is back to back with London and Gucci is set to show its spring 12 catwalk collection in Milan on Wednesday. The fashion brand asked models to fly to Milan on Saturday, meaning that some models could then not participate in shows at London Fashion Week, which is being held from September 16 to 21. Gucci, of course, is one of the world's leading brands, with a casting budget to match.

The company asked many models to return on Sunday for another round of castings with some returning on Monday for fittings. Carol White, founder of Premier Model Management, told the Telegraph: “I find it insulting that a designer like Frida [Giannini, Gucci creative director] thinks London is so insignificant that she would do that… Where’s the camaraderie?”

A source from Todd Lynn called it a “total nightmare”. The source added: “We lost 10 girls out of the 19 we had confirmed. Girls didn’t turn up to fittings and when we called to find out where they were, we were told, ‘Sorry they’ve gone to Milan’.”

Those affected has also held the BFC accountable for the problems suggesting it should stand up to the organisers behind fashion weeks in Milan and New York. Affected parties have also accused the BFC of mismanaging the London schedule.

Nick Burns, from casting agency Star & Co said: “In New York, Paris and Milan, there are only two to three shows per day vying for the same models. On a day like Monday in London, you have 11 designers all fighting to get the same girls and with shows packed back to back all
over London, everyone loses.”

He added that big money advertising work comes from those in New York, Milan and Paris and said: “The upshot of all this will be that models will stop coming to London and decent designers will be forced to stop showing here because they cant get good enough girls.”

Caroline Rush, chief executive of the BFC, too said: “Many of the smaller businesses showing here do not have the resources to compete on price with the global fashion brands in, for example Milan and Paris.”