One of the highlights of London Fashion Week is the Designer Showrooms. So what is the Designer Showrooms? I’m sure the students of LSAD see this as one of their goals and hear golden harps playing at the thought of it but to us mortals, it is a showroom of over 150 international designers based at The Store Studios, 180 Strand London. A showroom is a space in which various designer labels are on display, usually in a large, studio-like setting. The showroom is run by a team of people who fall under titles such as owner, rep, press agent, interns, and these people are responsible for selling your collection to buyers from department stores and boutiques from around the world.
The Designer Showrooms presents a rich and diverse selection of products in a highly curated showroom and showcasing these designers at London Fashion Week raises the profile of brands as part of London Fashion Week’s edit of what to see.
The international element of the showrooms illustrates that the doors to London are truly open, with designers showcasing from Dubai, Finland, South Korea and Ireland, (and features LSAD graduate Uná Burke). The pull of London on a global scale is undeniable as it continues to be an attractive and fertile home for an array of designer businesses of any size.
Of the four fashion capitals, London is the only city that hosts the Designer Showrooms in the same venue as the official British Fashion Council Show and Presentation Space. The LFW Designer Showrooms has launched many global brands, including a number of on-schedule designers. Showcasing in the Designer Showrooms allows brands to develop relationships with globally influential stores and helps to increase their exposure to top international journalists, publications and stylists. In addition to this, designers will also gain access to seasonal press and buyer accreditation lists and access to the BFC’s Designer Support programme, which includes one-to-one business advice and seminars.
Now that the budding fashion designers out there have the info to pursue showcasing at LFW, here are some of our favourite designers showcasing this year at The LFW Designer Showrooms.
ENLIST women’s wear brings together a collection of luxury silhouettes and statement pieces to build the ultimate wardrobe season to season. Exclusive prints and unique limited fabrics created by the duo are crafted from mills in Japan, Korea, Austria, Portugal, Italy and Uruguay.
Co-founders Mario Arena and Peter Farrow are fortunate to have worked in the industry for many years and learnt their craft from some of the best in the business.
The duo established ENLIST with a focus on design, colour and luxury. With insight into the new luxury consumer, global markets, and world’s best practices in responsible manufacturing, the brand was created.
From their South London studio, the pair are focused on fable, whimsy and alluring textiles. Exploring an English sensibility, evoking characters in a balance of craft and consideration. Nicholas is a women’s wear designer, born and raised in West Yorkshire. His world has been encompassed around textiles from a young age through his family links with theatre drapery. Alongside graduating BA women’s wear in 2014, he has worked at both Gareth Pugh and Alexander McQueen, making avant-garde pieces for shows and clients.
David is a London born textiles designer and has been working for some of the world’s leading fashion houses, notably Alexander McQueen since 2010. During this time he has been honing his craft, working with a broad range of styles and methods of textile manipulation.
She went on to become a Selfridges ‘Bright Young Thing’ and was included in ‘Designs of The Year Exhibition 2014′ at The Design Museum. She has worked for designers including Marc Jacobs, JW Anderson and Katie Hillier, as well as many stylists over the years; and undertaken projects for Vogue Festival, Manchester Art Gallery and Barbie, and designed an incredibly successful collection for & Other Stories.
Since AW15 she has received NEWGEN sponsorship to support her own label. Forbes Magazine listed her as one of Europe’s ’30 under 30′ for The Arts 2016. She presents on schedule at London Fashion Week.
Since being awarded a place on the ‘Swarovski Collective 2017′ she has incorporated crystals into her work to playful and original effect. She has recently been nominated for the 2017-2018 International Woolmark prize and is looking forward to presenting her designs to the jury panel in July 2017.
She continues to create graphic and tactile work that capitalises on her strengths in print and textile innovation, bringing shimmer and sparkle to her collections through her signature use of metallic.
Katie Ann McGuigan was born and grew up in Ireland. She moved to London, where she graduated from the University of Westminster BA Fashion Design Women’s wear course in spring 2016. She was since awarded the Fashion Scout Merit Award after her first print heavy collection debut, and continued on to win the Mittlemoda Absolute Prize in 2017. McGuigan has gained experience by working for McQ in London and Marc Jacobs in New York City.
Jarel Zhang Studio is an “independent” spirit booster; with material innovation at the heart of every piece. Zhang not only creates the brand, but has also developed a construction technique unique to the atelier. Jarel Zhang explores the design direction of “Component Collection” and hopes to make every widget on the fashion full of vitality.
Article by: Michelle Costello
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