As we descend into fall, there is one thing on the mind of hundreds of thousands around the globe: fashion. New York Fashion Week will open this evening with the illustrious Fashion’s Night Out. What began as an initiative to boost consumer confidence at the height of the recession has become a night full of shopping, designers, models and celebrities, as many of the customers’ favourite stores open up their doors well past closing time.
What New York begins, London, Paris and Milan will continue, one after another adding their own Fashion Weeks to what many industry types now refer to as “Fashion Month.”
Several British designers will take their Spring/Summer 2013 collections to NYFW over the course of the next week, showing American buyers, editors and consumers exactly what makes British fashion GREAT. Among them will be Victoria Beckham, Jenny Packham, Ozwald Boateng, Louise Goldin and others. The following week, London will host a number of iconic British designers whose collections fashionistas won’t want to miss – including Burberry, Stella McCartney, Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood.
London has always been at the center of the fashion world, making US-UK fashion connections far too numerous to cover in one blog! One day this February, the GREAT Britain campaign brought together ten British fashion icons, all of whom live and work in the United States, for a Vogue photo shoot with a New York subway car emblazoned with Union Jacks and the GREAT logo. The roster included luminaries such as singer, model and designer Victoria Beckham, Marchesa founder and Project Runway judge Georgina Chapman, supermodel Jourdan Dunn and, of course, American Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour OBE.
UK designers continue to produce world-class fashion talent at an impressive rate. This month, Scottish designer Christopher Kane is featured in the coveted pages of American Vogue’s famed September issue. The magazine’s fulsome profile, entitled “Living the Dream,” says of Kane: “Only one or two designers in a generation will ever succeed in knocking fashion onto a new course.” At the age of 30, Christopher Kane has already made his mark.
Continuing the legacy of UK fashion in the US, several UK designers and retailers have recently decided to expand into the American market. TopShop, the hip London retail chain, its making headway with its US presence, already operating stores in New York, Chicago and Las Vegas, by opening ‘pop up’ shops in select Nordstrom stores. LK Bennett, recently famous as the designer behind the Duchess of Cambridge’s favorite nude patent pumps, has opened up its first US store.
And the Americans are returning the favor. J. Crew, the high-end American prep retailer—and arguably my favorite store—has plans to open up a location in London next year. And lastly—dare I say it—the Kardashians are taking their empire to Britain: the Kardashian Kollection will be sold in 250 Dorothy Perkins boutiques throughout the UK beginning next year.
London is certainly a force to be reckoned with this Fashion Month.
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