London is one of the most important fashion capitals in the world. Paris, New York, Milan and London – the power four. But how did London get on this prestigious list? I will analyse what makes London so attractive for a fashion industry, and how it all comes together.
First of all, it all began with the strong textile industry that was powered by revolutionised technology. After the second world war, Britain used to follow Paris fashion, but communications were cut off, and the UK started making their own fashion. London has become an epicentre of it. In the 60’s subcultures, such as mods and hippies started emerging, making fashion a statement. In the 80’s punk movement has begun, and designer Vivienne Westwood popularised punk fashion, making it one of the London statements. Technology, subcultures and war struggles have made London what it is today.
Second of all, there are large amounts of schools and universities in London that produce talented fashion professionals. Innovative approach and strong fashion scene have led many students flocking to London. International students also contribute to British fashion, by staying in the UK and contributing to its fashion industry. Designers, such as Mary Katrantzou, Elena Karavasili and Erdem Moralioglu, just to mention a few have become global, successful brands, based in London.
Another reason why London has an active fashion set is because of the strong support system designers get. There are plenty of fashion events going on at any month in London, and it gives an opportunity for fashion talent to get spotted.
Organisations, such as British Fashion Council (BFC) makes dreams come true. It has NewGen programme that allows designers get spotted amongst big brands in the LFW. Another initiative showcases Central Saint Martin’s collections from MA Fashion course in London Fashion Week. It had launched lots of creative talent into the fashion sphere. Because of these programmes, designers feel that they can make it in London.
London is experimental, it doesn’t hold traditionalist values at heart, as much as Paris. This allows more concept testing and modernization of fashion. Even high – street brand (Topshop Unique) could show its collection, which is rare in elite, fashion world, where designers are on top.
This is all a consequence of street style, another element why London fashion thrives. It trickled down from the streets to designers, and they are more influenced than the original trend innovators.
London is also a multi – cultural city, where cuisines, languages and fashion mix, the environment is as creative as it gets. It is really easy to get inspired in London. Adding all the factors (strong support system, creativity, innovation, street – style, subcultures and culture) together makes London one of the strongest fashion capitals in the world.