With the UK in the midst of a strict lockdown, the British Fashion Council has announced that London Fashion Week will take place as planned in February, but adopt a digital-only format.
The aim is to continue to support and promote the country's beleaguered fashion industry, in a way that is safe and in adherence with government guidelines.
The event will run from Friday, February 19 to Tuesday, February 23, with live shows, presentations and installations to be showcased on www.londonfashionweek.com. All designers presenting new content and selling their latest collections will be featured on the digital platform, which will be accessible throughout the year.
The British Fashion Council announced in 2020 that London Fashion Week would be a season-less, “gender-neutral showcase”, moving away from a traditional format of separate men’s and women’s shows.
While a full schedule of events for February has yet to be released, participating brands include Emilia Wickstead, Erdem, Halpern, Jordan Luca, Molly Goddard, Osman Yousefzada, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Richard Quinn, Rixo, Roksanda, Mithridate and Temperley London. A full list of brands can be found here.
"The BFC continues to ask government to engage in support of the fashion industry," said Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council. "One of the main active requests is to allow key creative and model talent to travel to and from the UK with a phased introduction of quarantine exemptions for the fashion industry, in order to carry out essential business, to protect the competitiveness of the British fashion industry."
“This further lockdown is incredibly challenging for businesses, freelancers and individuals.” Rush added. “Our industry is one of amazing creativity and this is more true in the UK than any other country. The majority of businesses and individuals we work with are independent businesses and creatives who contribute significantly to the cultural and creative reputation of our country.
"We will continue to push for support and champion our extraordinary businesses to global audiences. Despite all the challenges the last few years have brought, I truly believe that the creativity, agility and business savvy of our sector will prevail and the societal conscious of our British businesses and fashion workforce will see us recalibrate to not only be strong creatively but strong sustainably, too."
While London Fashion Week's June instalment was also digital-only, the event had made a return to live shows by September. More than 80 designers participated in the September event, with seven of the shows taking place in front of a slimmed-down audience and 21 consisting of a mix of physical and digital presentations. The 50 remaining events took place online only.