london fashion week is moving
London Fashion Week will move to Brewer Street Car Park in the heart of Soho this September. The British Fashion Council announced this morning that after six years at Somerset House, the main hub of London Fashion Week will relocate. "We wanted somewhere that's a blank canvas, a more flexible space that's more connected to retail," BFC Chief Executive Caroline Rush explained at a breakfast briefing in Soho's Groucho Club today.
Brewer Street Car Park has been used for fashion events before, with Henry Holland holding his catwalk shows there and the British Fashion Council hosting the International Fashion Showcase in the building during London Fashion Week this February. "It has also been home to many artist installations, like Conrad Shawcross and Quentin Jones; they have a rolling arts program, so it does feel akin to what we want to achieve with London Fashion Week," Rush added.
"You might be put off by the NCP sign," Rush continued, "but it's a bigger building than you think… Internally, we've been talking about it as the 'fashion park' because we have all of these incredible spaces." The catwalk show space will be on the top floor, with the exhibition space housed all on one floor below, with areas for photographers, press and sponsors also within the building.
The British Fashion Council are hoping to replicate the success of hosting London Collections: Men near to Soho at the Hospital Club, with brands spreading out into venues in the surrounding area, like galleries and the Vinyl Factory. "There has been a lot of chat about Soho losing its creative heart, so I think to move this major creative industries event into the center of Soho is really going to be a flagpole in the sand," Rush said, explaining that it will also be good to introduce the international press and buyers to "the slightly grittier world of Soho."
For emerging London designers, Rush hopes the move will provide "a brilliant opportunity for some of our international media and retailers to see what those designers look like at retail" in nearby boutiques like Machine A, "and to hear first hand how successful they are for [them]".
Rush also revealed that some of the regular program of London Fashion Week talks will be open to the public, allowing passing shoppers to join in with the usually exclusive London showcase.
London Fashion Week spring/summer 16 takes place September 18 - 22, 2015.