The British Fashion Council CEO Caroline Rush on what makes LFW unique, the Designer Showrooms and what she’s looking forward to this season.
What makes LFW unique?
Fashion is a truly global industry and London plays a unique role in it. LFW brings together trade and consumer, blending the emerging and the established on the schedule in a way that feels natural and dynamic, and I think we do this better than any other city. London’s strength is that it represents a national industry built not only on heritage but also on innovation and creativity. People always reaffirm that what they come to London for is to see something new.
Ashish, London Fashion Week
Tell us about LFW this season – what are you looking forward to?
This season is more international than ever before, which is something very important in the current climate. I’m really looking forward to seeing the wonderful British brand Ralph & Russo show their first ready-to-wear collection in London. Then of course we also have other global brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Emporio Armani joining the schedule, alongside Burberry, Nicopanda and Versace Versus. Our Newgen designers Halpern, Marta Jakubowski, Molly Goddard, Paula Knorr, Richard Malone and Sadie Williams are all standouts and represent the best emerging talent.
What do the international additions add to the schedule?
At its heart, LFW is a showcase of what makes Britain one of the best places in the world for fashion businesses. I am extremely proud that international brands choose to show their collections in London. As a centre for international business, we are focused on maintaining London’s reputation as an open and competitively commercial and creative space, whatever might happen in Brussels. Beyond that, brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Emporio Armani bring new visitors to London, and the hope is that these visitors will also engage with British brands they might not have seen before.
Emporio Armani, Milan Fashion Week
Tell us about the Designer Showrooms – why are these important for buyers?
The LFW Designer Showrooms are unique in that they live in the same venue as our BFC Show Space [The Store Studios on Strand], and so allow buyers to easily discover and engage with a mix of over 150 brands beyond the schedule. They are a highly curated showcase of British and international excellence, where we have some really exciting emerging brands sitalongside more established names, including on-schedule designers. This gives buyers the opportunity to see and re-see collections and to discover new UK and international brands.
What’s new in the Designer Showroom this season?
This season, the footprint of the showrooms expands across all three wings of The Store Studios, and along with that expansion we have made a number of changes to the way we approach the space. For the first time, we’re welcoming guest curators to help shape specific zones, including one focused on the growing trend of athleisure and loungewear, and one that explores the streetwear London is so incredibly good at.
Find out more from the upcoming LFW, as Drapers rounds up the new names to know and and key highlights.
Burberry, London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week Preview: Caroline Rush on what to expect