Whilst I was enjoying the LC:M shows this weekend, I had to call for a taxi to get from one show to another and was struck by the fact that, when I asked for 180 The Strand, the driver was already well-aware it was the hub for LC:M, and was clued up on the fashion weekend’s other key destinations too.
This got me thinking about what the business of a fashion week really is and how many people it actually affects. Often the focus is just on the designers and the shows themselves, but the showcasing is just as important for many other businesses.
Setting up the catwalk for J.W. Anderson
From taxi companies to coffee suppliers, hotels to barbers, there are a whole range of businesses who want to be associated with LC:M – many of whom are sponsors. These businesses not only contribute to the success of the Collections, but also to the economic vibrancy of the city.
What stood out most for me, going to the shows, was just how many people/businesses are involved – the scale of the infrastructure – which went far beyond just the shows themselves. There is the staging, lighting, PR, design, catering, ushering the list goes on. These lesser known aspects to shows are just as crucial to the successful running of the events, and provide opportunities to hundreds of people, from taxi drivers to bloggers alike.
Design and printing of Christopher Raeburn invitations
It is not just physical infrastructure either, London is home to thousands of bloggers, journalists and marketing agencies which increase the social presence of the event.
For me, seeing so many businesses involved, reinforces the fashion industry’s interrelationship with the city it is part of. Most people see fashion as an ephemeral business, a circus that goes as quickly as it comes. However when you think about the economic contribution of these events it starts to feel like a much more substantial legacy.
Catering at Victoria House
LC:M, now in its fourth year, has fast become a staple of the global fashion calendar and I think it is because of this great infrastructure that it has been so successful. It enhances our ability to stage large events – something we have been growing in confidence in since the Olympics.
Just as the Olympics were made a success as much by the infrastructure around it – the volunteers and the media coverage etc – as by the athletes themselves, so the growing success of LC:M (and London’s ability in general to stage large events) is defined by the sophisticated level of physical and social support London provides.
The official Sponsors of LC:M