London Fashion Week: a boost to the UK economy

Monday, 16 September 2013
The spring/summer 2014 season of London Fashion Week kicked off on Friday with a bright collection from Bora Aksu inside the British Fashion Council’s new tents, which this September features a new U-shaped catwalk.Over the course of the five days, LFW will feature 58 catwalk shows and 15 presentations, from names including Burberry, Mulberry, Vivienne Westwood, Matthew Williamson, Christopher Kane, and Tom Ford, and for the first time Manolo Blahnik, Smythson and Barbara Casasola join the official schedule.

LFW though is more than just a fashion showcase, the bi-annual event also creates a significant boost to the economy, with more than 100 million pounds of orders being placed during London Fashion Week each season, with 74 million of those funds coming from abroad, according to the BFC.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who opened fashion week, said: “London bestrides the world of fashion like a dapper titan and I’m proud to support London Fashion Week, which showcases the brightest and best designers working today.

“This week promises to be the most exciting yet, but it’s not just about how creative and stylish London is, it’s a big moneyspinner, bringing in orders from around the globe and generating billions for our economy.”

LFW generates 100 million pounds in orders

As well as the creation of orders, the direct value of the UK fashion industry to the UK economy stands at 21 billion pounds, according to the BFC’s Fashion Report 2010, and fashion’s wider contribution in influencing spending in other industries is estimated to stand at over 37 billion pounds. In addition, the fashion industry currently employs more than 800,000 people in the UK.

Once again LFW has attracted buyers from around the world, especially America with luxury department stores Saks, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus sending representatives, said Caroline Rush, BFC’s chief executive. It is thought that not only are luxury brands such as Burberry and Mulberry attracting international buyers, but also newer names such as Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto and J.W. Anderson who is currently rumoured to be in talks with LVMH.

"I am a huge fan of London Fashion Week because we have so many great designers that we sell at Neiman Marcus," Ken Downing, fashion director at the U.S. store told Reuters. "The excitement over pattern and print has really happened here in London. Our customers love our designers from London."

The fashion trade event, which runs until September 17, is expected to welcome over 5,000 visitors from 52 countries, including buyers, journalists, photographers, TV and radio crews, and bloggers.

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