London, a global fashion hub, is hosting a spectacular showcase of both established and emerging designers as the fashion world eagerly awaits the spring/summer 2024 collections. This prestigious event kicked off after Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, hosted a star-studded gathering likened to New York’s Met Gala, graced by supermodels and a constellation of stars from various industries.
Sienna Miller made a captivating appearance, flaunting her pregnancy bump in a bold fashion statement. This year’s London Fashion Week features over 80 designers, presenting their creations through catwalk shows and presentations.
Caroline Rush, the CEO of the British Fashion Council (BFC), expressed excitement about the event, emphasizing its creative energy and the anticipation of five thrilling days. However, despite its fashion prominence, London is grappling with a post-COVID slump compounded by inflation, currently the highest in the G7 at 6.8% as of July, and Brexit-related challenges. This has caused London to fall behind other major fashion capitals like Paris, Milan, and New York.
To bolster the fashion industry’s resurgence, the UK government recently pledged £2 million ($2.5 million) in support for young designers, channelled through the BFC’s NewGen program. This initiative aims to cultivate the next generation of high-end global fashion brands.
The NewGen program has a rich history of nurturing young talent, with past recipients including the iconic Alexander McQueen. In addition to financial support, the Design Museum in London is currently hosting an exhibition titled “REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion,” celebrating the impact of young NewGen designers on the industry.
While established designers like Burberry, founded in 1856, are eagerly awaited at the event, the London Fashion Week also shines a spotlight on emerging talents, with approximately 20 designers benefiting from the NewGen program. These designers have already made their mark, dressing some of the biggest stars in the entertainment industry.
The BFC is also taking steps to make London Fashion Week more inclusive by conducting a comprehensive audit aimed at assessing representation in the industry concerning gender, sexual orientation, religion, and social background. This initiative underscores the fashion world’s commitment to diversity and progress, with results set to be revealed later this year.