BFC sets dates for next three London Fashion Weeks, but calls off independent men’s season in January
The British Fashion Council, UK fashion’s governing body, announced Thursday the dates of the next three editions of London Fashion Week (LFW), even as it revealed that there would be no January menswear season in 2021.
As a result, the next three LFW editions will take place on the following dates in 2021: February 19 to 23; June 11 to 14 and September 17 to 21. All three seasons will feature both menswear and womenswear.
Due to the continuing Covid crisis, the next London season will be primarily a digitally driven event, freely available on the London Fashion Week website, with some scaled back physical activations, such as intimate runway shows and showroom viewings for editors and buyers by appointment.
The announcement brings to an end, at least for 2021, London Fashion Week Men’s, the standalone menswear season that was first launched back in June 2012. However, the BFC did underline in a release that “London Fashion Week January 2022 will be reviewed next year.”
Commenting on the changes, BFC Menswear Chair and UK GQ Editor-in-Chief Dylan Jones noted: “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 from emerging talent to Savile Row tailoring. A lot has changed since then, and this year’s pandemic made us all rethink the current system in place. We are confident that this move will help designers reach more people via the digital LFW platform, while still allowing them to do business as early as January without the deadline of a show.”
The BFC stressed in a release that it “is in constant communication with the Government to understand guidelines and restrictions,” even as the current government constantly zigzags in its polices during the pandemic. The BFC added that it developed its strategy in light of the “challenges around the movement of goods, samples and people in the single market and customs union post Brexit.”
The organization has also held surveys and roundtables with designers, and conversations with sales showrooms before making these latest decisions. Given the likely continued absence of foreign buyers in London early next year, the BFC is working on a sales-focused campaign using the London Fashion Week platform to drive reach to designer online showrooms and physical sales contacts.
“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, embracing digital and technological innovation while offering ideas and solutions that will work for all designer businesses. Moving LFWM into LFW in February will continue to de-gender LFW, allow designers greater flexibility to consider what collection they show when and minimize travel requirements, taking us one step closer to a more sustainable future,” argued Caroline Rush, BFC Chief Executive.
The BFC’s move to genderless seasons began this summer, which also coincided with the well-received revamp of its online platform, creating an Official Digital Hub which permits retailers, media and consumers to view and buy collections.
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