LONDON — The British Fashion Council has confirmed that its next London Fashion Week showcase will take place on February 19-23 next year.
Its January event, which was traditionally reserved for men’s wear and rebranded into a gender-less platform earlier this year, has been cancelled and folded into the February showcase. Men’s wear designers that usually present their collections in January will be encouraged to switch to the February schedule, which will take place as “a digital-first event with scaled-back physical activations.”
The decision to bring the two events together is a direct response to the continued COVID-19 government restrictions and new challenges in the movement of goods, samples and people in the single market and customs union post-Brexit.
The organization will continue to support men’s wear designers with an industry-focused sales campaign in the works for January 2021 to ensure designers can still sell their collections to international buyers. London Fashion Week’s digital platform, now available year-round, will also be used to increase the reach of designers’ online showrooms.
“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 British men’s wear designers,” said Dylan Jones, the BFC’s men’s wear chair. “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 London Fashion Week platform, while still allowing them to do business as early as January without the deadline of a show.”
Caroline Rush, chief executive at the BFC, added that the move is in line with the organization’s aim to continue rethinking its current model in order to minimize travel, make fashion week more sustainable and less reliant on gender norms.
“In line with the newly formed Institute of Positive Fashion, our aim is to continue to redefine our fashion week model. Moving London Fashion Week Men’s into London Fashion Week in February will continue to de-gender London Fashion Week, 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,” she added.
During the second half of the year, the BFC is planning to go back to hosting two separate events on June 11-14 and September 17-21, with every showcase now open “to all genders and seasons.”