Drapers find outs what the fashion industry makes of London Fashion Week’s new home at The Store Studios and how designers are handling the ongoing impact of Brexit.
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Laurie Lee Burley Founder, Laurie Lee Leather
The new venue is great – it’s much better to have more room and be in the same place as the show space, because it means it’s busier. There’s a buzzy atmosphere. The past couple of seasons have been about getting the brand ready to wholesale, so this season at London Fashion Week we’re looking to meet buyers from the big department stores, who we’re expecting to see here over the shows.
Emma Charles Creative director, Emma Charles
I liked Brewer Street car park because it felt like a series of small boutiques. However, The Store Studio feels very fluid and because of the walkway down the middle, people going to see shows in the presentation space will have to come past us, which is great. It’s also good to get everyone in the same space and it’s important to come here to promote the brand to all the big buyers from Selfridges and Net-a-Porter.
Shamele Cato Marketing co-ordinator, Wåven
We were further towards the front of the designer showrooms last season and the space was a more open, so I’m worried we might get a bit lost. Having said that, the showrooms have been really busy from day one and I think it makes sense to have the in the same place as the presentation space, as it keeps everyone in one central place. We come because it’s great exposure for the brand and a good chance to see international buyers from the US and China.
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Mario Arena Creative director, Enlist
So far, Brexit hasn’t impacted us too much. We trade in US dollars, so that has been more expensive for us, but we haven’t passed it on to the customer. From a currency point of view, we’re doing twice as well when we’re selling in the US. But as a Maltese passport holder I have been made to feel quite unwelcome post-Brexit. We employ 11 British nationals and work with British business, so we do contribute.
Astrid Andersen Designer, Astrid Andersen
I like the new space, although it is a bit of a maze and you can get lost. But that also lets people wander around and find something new. We have been a bit affected by Brexit – there’s no way round it. It feels a bit scary to not know it will work out and, financially, it’s been very unstable. Buyers reacted immediately after the vote and no one was sure what to do.
Teija Eilola Designer, Teija
The Store Studios has got an underground feel to it. It’s edgy, which is what LFW is about. It’s good being in such a prominent place on The Strand – it makes people notice. We operate internationally and haven’t been hit by Brexit too much, although it is making us nervous.