The 65th edition of London Fashion Week will see 5,000 guests from over 49 countries attending the 51 catwalk shows. This year promises to once again celebrate the diversity and innovation of the London fashion scene, with 50% of the designers featured being from outside the UK.
Many of the stalwarts of fashion will be exhibiting their latest creations. New to this season, Roland Mouret will show in London in honour of the brand’s 20th Anniversary, as will fashion favourite Burberry. Emerging talent will also be presented at LFW, giving new names an international audience. The BFC’s Newgen initiative will present Ashley Williams and Marta Jakubowski amongst many others and welcomes back recent Newgen graduate Ryan Lo.
The scale of London Fashion Week continues to grow year on year. According to Oxford Economics, the direct contribution to the UK economy will be £28billion, up from £26billion in 2013. Fashion is the largest employer of all the UK's creative industries, supporting 880,000 jobs, up from 797,000 in 2013 according to Oxford Economics. The sector is also known to provide more opportunities to minority groups than other creative industries.
Womenswear is the most lucrative sector of the industry, with £27 billion worth of sales in UK in 2015. According to Mintel, this figure is expected to grow 23% by 2020. The importance of online retailing continues to grow every year. 2016 has seen a more cohesive relationship between in-store and online retailing, with brands showing a greater understanding of the blend between the two offerings, contributing to a rise in sales. In 2015, £12.4billion was spent on fashion online, up 16% from £10.7billion in 2014 according to Mintel.
20,000 espressos will be served in the blur of exotic prints and faux furs. 8,500 LFW tote bags will be gifted and 32,000 miles will be driven by dedicated Mercedes-Benz cars. Women will totter in sky-high heels or kick-back in on-trend trainers. There will be the flash of a thousand cameras, a multitude of air kisses and a very welcome boost to the UK economy.