London Fashion Week is now genderless and seasonless
For its three fashion weeks in 2021, the British Fashion Council will be platforming menswear, womenswear and everything in between.
Art School SS21
Even before the pandemic disrupted fashion week schedules the world over, there were a fair few question marks hovering around their design. Separating presentations into menswear and womenswear, SS and AW -- were these distinctions even relevant any more? Today, the British Fashion Council has responded with a resounding no, announcing its plans for London Fashion Week to go gender-neutral as of its February 2021 edition.
The result of discussions with designers and sales showrooms in the wake of the pandemic’s second wave, the LFW organising body has decided will be integrating the presentation of menswear collections into the timeframe traditionally allocated to womenswear. “When we launched London Collections: Men in June 2012, which then became London Fashion Week Men’s, we were responding to an industry need and to the necessity to have a platform for our brilliant British menswear designers,” says Dylan Jones, BFC Menswear Chair. “A lot has changed since then, and this year’s pandemic made us all rethink the current system in place.”
What’s more the new format for one of the world’s largest fashion presentation platforms is one that’s set to last, with the fashion weeks in June and September set to be open to all genders and seasons, with a review set to be held next year for 2022. “As the fashion industry moves towards a more sustainable and responsible future in line with the newly formed Institute of Positive Fashion, our aim is to continue to redefine our fashion week model,” says Caroline Rush, BFC Chief Executive. “Moving LFWM into LFW in February will continue to de-gender LFW, allow designers greater flexibility to consider what collection they show when and minimise travel requirements, taking us one step closer to a more sustainable future.” Indeed, as uncertain as the future may currently seem, today’s announcement is a step towards ensuring it’s a bright one for British fashion.