The British Fashion Council (BFC), organisers of London Fashion Week, have for the first time invited the public to its exhibition and catwalk space at The Store X, 180 Strand.
Several catwalk shows including Alexa Chung , House Of Holland and Self-Portrait have also allowed selected members of the public to attend.
In the past, entrance has been by invitation only and just open to trade buyers, influencers or accredited press, so this marks a significant new approach for the BFC. The BFC say its goal is to make LFW “a cultural city-wide celebration that will introduce fashion to a wider pool of people.”
As usually it’s a packed schedule with over 66 brands, 74 stores and 170 events taking place between Friday 13 and Tuesday 17 September, along with a city wide programme of activity. Partners and retailers taking part in the various events and presentations will display #LFW in storefronts and window displays around London.
The programme of events includes ticketed talks by Eva Chen, Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships; Henry Holland, creative director of House of Holland; Laura Brown, InStyle USA editor in chief; Laura Weir, ES Magazine’s editor in chief and Lindsay Peoples Wagner, Teen Vogue’s editor in chief.
Special menus have been devised at the restaurants in stores such as Burberry and Matchesfashion.com, and Mulberry’s in Regent Street will have live demonstrations from their skilled makers. There are also numerous immersive art installations, such as solving the Postbox Maze, inspired by an M. C. Escher mural.
This willingness to get the general public involved is no doubt in response to the growing number of brands selling direct to the consumer and the importance of building brand loyalty and engaging directly with their target customers. A welcome change indeed!
By Alison Lewy MBE
Fashion Angel founder and author of Design Create Sell – a guide to starting and running a successful fashion business – available to buy here.