Buyers have welcomed London Fashion Week’s new location at the Brewer Street Car Park in Soho this season, praising the move as a “breath of fresh air”.
“The BFC’s designer showroom has been excellent and I love the new space,” said Ali Chisholm, womenswear buyer at Harvey Nichols. “The calibre of brands in the showrooms is better than previous seasons – it’s more edited.”
Compared with its previous location at Somerset House, traffic was expected to be more of a problem in central Soho at the Brewer Street car park but buyers and exhibitors tended to be forgiving thanks to the upbeat atmosphere and easy to navigate layout.
“The new venue is a great space and it’s a breath of fresh air to fashion week in general; everything feels refreshed,” said Suzanne Pendlebury, buying director of Matchesfashion.com. “The designer shows are good because is all in one room and in one place.”
Founder and buying director of Machine A, Stavros Karelis, agreed, explaining that the new central location was more accessible.
“Things used to get lost at Somerset house and it wasn’t as easy to see everything, but now it’s all concentrated in one space and seems more edited, it’s a lot better organised and laid out,” he said. “All the designers I’ve spoken to are also very happy.”
Buyers were in attendance from Selfridges, Browns, Harrods, Feathers, Avenue 32, Bottica, Net-a-Porter and Shop At Bluebird, and reports suggested that there were more international buyers this season, particularly from big US retailers.
Rufus Abbott, owner of The Goods Agency which represents eyewear and accessory brands including Andy Wolf and Hyde’s Spectacles, said: “It was obvious they needed to change something and it looks like it worked. There was a strong start and a strong finish so overall I think the move has been well received.”