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London Fashion Week has unveiled its strongest September lineup since before the pandemic, including a debut from Raf Simons and the return of power players Burberry and JW Anderson, the LVMH-backed namesake label of the designer who also oversees Loewe.
Emerging brands Chopova Lowena and Di Petsa — who do not usually show at fashion week — will also join the LFW schedule this season, alongside returning regulars such as Richard Quinn, Erdem, Rejina Pyo and Simone Rocha, according to the provisional schedule released today by the British Fashion Council (BFC), taking place from Friday 16 to Tuesday 20 September.
It marks a turning point for London Fashion Week, which while known for its creativity and supporting emerging talent through programmes such as BFC’s Newgen programme and Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East, has recently struggled to attract big names, with JW Anderson and Victoria Beckham in Paris, and Alexander McQueen off-schedule in New York. “The lockdowns made it almost impossible for people to travel to London during Covid,” says Sarah Mower, Vogue chief critic and the BFC’s ambassador for emerging talent. “It’s been trendy to show wherever and whenever, and on different platforms.”
Burberry, the UK’s biggest luxury brand, has been particularly missed because of its ability to attract fashion’s key international editors and buyers. In March, the brand staged its first physical catwalk since before the pandemic in London, but chose to do it two weeks after LFW aligned with the Bafta and film awards season. At the time, Fashion East’s Kennedy told Vogue Business it was a “pity” because Burberry’s presence on the LFW schedule creates a “knock-on of positives” for emerging designers.
The addition of Prada co-creative director Simons, who normally shows his namesake label in Paris, will also draw the crowds in September. “It’s been a dream for a while to show in London — a city where fashion and creativity is omnipresent in the streets, and where I see exceptional people with a strong unique style,” a statement from Simons reads. “I’m extremely excited that this dream is becoming a reality now, and I’m very happy to welcome the amazing people and faces that make up the London scene to my show.”
“I am so happy to see brave visionaries like Raf Simons choosing to show in a capital that has such a significant influence in culture in the same way Raf has for fashion,” says Machine-A founder and buying director Stavros Karelis. “In the case of Burberry and JW Anderson, returning back to their roots is poignant, as in the core of their brands’ existence is the heartbeat of this city. It will be an inspiring fashion week, with definitely the strongest lineup for many years, marrying the extremely talented emerging designers with the brands that have shaped fashion as very few have.”
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