The founders of an Irish contemporary womenswear brand and retailer will launch Fashion Independents’ Day in London on Thursday May 28 alongside a new app to connect shoppers with indies and a special event to boost footfall in stores.
Brendan Courtney and Sonya Lennon, founders of Lennon Courtney, will host an event called Fashion Grand Prix which will see a group of fashion bloggers, TV presenters, journalists and PRs race around London to visit as many independent retailers as they can during the day. The group, which includes fashion blogger Susie Bubble, TV presenter Zoe Hardman and journalist Antonio O’Brien, will take selfies in each store to promote the day and whoever trends highest will be declared the winner.
Courtney said: “We tested the event in Ireland in March and this edition will be mainly in London as we build momentum for next year, but we have had boutiques reach out to us from Manchester, Liverpool and Edinburgh.
“We will also launch FIDay in New York in November.”
The Fashion Grand Prix participants are expected to visit between two and five boutiques each, covering a wide cross section of independent retailers in the capital from The Laden Showroom on Brick Lane to Lark London in Kensal Rise, Wolf & Badger in Mayfair and One of a Kind in Notting Hill.
The event also aims to promote the launch of the Frockadvisor app, which allows shoppers to post a picture of something they want and independent retailers can send images of similar things they have in stock.
Courtney said more than 100 retailers are now signed up to the app, which is available for both Apple and Android devices.
Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council (BFC), added: “There are hundreds of independent retailers across the country that are not only responsible for supporting British design talent but in some cases are the launch pads for the success of some of these businesses.
“The support of campaigns like Frockadvisor’s Fashion Independents’ Day shine the spotlight on the importance of the independent retail sector by driving awareness and sales for the businesses at the heart of its success.
“We very much hope that across London consumers will fly the flag for British fashion by joining the campaign on May 28 both in person at their favourite boutiques and online by using the hashtag #FIDAY.”
David Slater, director of international business development at city promotion firm London & Partners, said: “This app will not only help connect customers with London’s fashion scene and experts, but will also keep London on the cutting edge of the fashion technology scene.”