The British Fashion Council (BFC) was set up in 1983 to promote British fashion internationally and co-ordinate this promotion through fashion weeks, exhibitions and showcasing events.
1984 saw the launch of London Fashion Week in its current form with a central catwalk venue and a large designer exhibition at Olympia – known as the British Designer Show in association with the London Designer Collections.
London Fashion week is one of the big 4 international catwalk influencers, the event is organised by the British Fashion Council (BFC) and funded by a number of sponsors.
The event puts British fashion on the global stage ; estimated orders of over £100 million are placed during LFW each season and the International Guest Programme alone generates over £50m of orders. Over 5,000 visitors attend: TV & radio crews, buyers, photographers and journalists. The widespread media coverage equals or exceeds most major news and international sporting events. The public are now able to view the shows through a variety of live streams.
There are two major seasons per year – Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer. In London the A/W show is typically in February and the S/S show is around September.
How do you show your collection ?
To become part of the official London Fashion Week schedule your collection should consist of women’s ready-to-wear or men’s ready-to-wear.
You should have been in business for at least 3 years and have a minimum of 4 stockists. If your have these two this then you are eligible to apply.
Your application will then be reviewed by an advisory panel comprised of leading opinion formers, press and retail representatives.
If you pass this formal vetting process you will gain a slot of the LFW Show schedule. If at this point you want to hold your show off site, as opposed to in the BFC Courtyard Show Space, you will incur a cost. An outside venue has to be located within close proximity of Somerset House, WC2.
To hold a catwalk show off site and be listed in the official London Fashion Week show schedule designers are obligated to pay a listing fee. For designers with a turn over of £5million plus, listing fees are £3,300 and the standard listing fee is £2,600.
Obviously if you are turning over £5million I would hope a good deal of that is profit so the costs of creating the collection are totally within reason. For anyone new to the fashion industry or wondering exactly how much money it takes, the Evening Standard report the average cost of a show is £79,240.
Applications to showcase a collection usually close around 3months prior of a fashion week with around 2 weeks between the closing of applications and notification of success. For A/W Shows in February expect applications to close in October. For S/S Shows in September expect applications to close in May/June.
The page will be updated to reflect the next fashion week when application is open.
Press and buyers can register to attend on-site by bringing a business card to the registration desk. (Or contact Will Rowley, +44(0)20 7759 1968 Will.firstname.lastname@example.org).On-site refers to the BFC Catwalk Show Space which is currently by Somerset House. Within this space their are more than 120 designers, they are showcasing 60 new designers and it is open to all UK and international media and buyers.
This season The Exhibition showcases an edit of contemporary designer ready-to-wear brands to complement the catwalk schedule and to provide buyers with an interesting and accessible offer of anchor brands and emerging contemporary brands in this core category.
To visit London Fashion week shows and events you can register in advance on www.londonfashionweek.co.uk out of show week. The event is primarily for buyers and fashion influencers.
Access as a blogger to the Somerset house based exhibition doesn’t automatically give you access to the fashion shows – everyone has access to the designers press contact details. If you are true fashionista however then sit back and relax as they probably have you on speed dial ! To get access to a particular show we recommend emailing the designers press contacts for tickets and press access and give them a good reason why you should be one of the chosen few .They will probably want to know more about your credentials and if you are a blogger they may ask you about your sites traffic and social media reach .
To give you and idea here is the 2013 schedule , you can click on each designer to see more information and their contact details. If there is still something you would like to know, comment below and your questions will be answered.