Mayor of London Sadiq Khan sounded a positive note at the opening of this season’s London Fashion Week Men’s (LFWM), shaking off concerns about the impact of Brexit.
Khan opened LFWM alongside the event’s chairman, GQ editor Dylan Jones, on 6 January. The mayor praised the fashion industry’s contribution to the UK economy.
He added: “Fashion is absolutely central to our identity as Londoners. Here in London, we are defined by our love of fashion and ability to tolerate diversity.
“London Fashion Week and London Fashion Weekend brought in over £97m worth of orders for British designers and fashion is the largest employer of all our creative industries, providing 800,000 jobs worth an astonishing £38 billion to the UK’s economy.
“London remains open and inclusive and it’s so vital that, post Brexit, this continues to be the case.”
At the Designer Showrooms, international brands told Drapers that the drop in the value of the pound following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union had boosted business.
“It might not be good for the economy overall but the exchange rate has definitely helped us,” said William Lessard, founder of Canadian brand École de Pensée. “It’s made producing in the factories we use more cost effective.”
Ben Mears, chief executive officer of luxury resort label Chucs, said Brexit had had little impact on the brand: “Our customers tend to be constantly travelling and look at other currencies rather than the pound. Brands need to be strong enough to weather external factors.”
London Collections Mens was rebranded as LFWM this season, as its organisers seek to make it more consumer-facing.
Vivienne Westwood is showing her men’s and women’s wear collections at LFWM, returning to the capital after several years in Milan. Rapper Tinie Tempah is also showing his new label, What We Wear.
LFWM runs until 9 January.