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LDA works to keep London at forefront of international fashion market


With London Fashion Week set to begin on Friday, the London Development Agency (LDA) is working alongside the British Fashion Council to ensure the city retains its international position as one of the key centres for fashion and that the small businesses that dominate this sector are supported.

Organised by the British Fashion Council, London Fashion Week is worth £20 million to the capital’s economy, in terms of direct spend, and generates orders in the region of £100m. Raising the profile of London Fashion Week is one of the main objectives in the LDA’s three-year contract with the British Fashion Council. With the global economic downturn, this support is more important than ever.

The British Fashion Council’s international buyer programme, supported by the LDA and UKTI, targets significant buyers to come to London Fashion Week. These are increasingly from particular countries that have a significant or growing buying-power - such Dubai and other parts of the Middle East. Buyers get the experience first hand of the exciting cutting-edge designs on London’s catwalks - and help swell London’s order books. Around 30 buyers are invited from a range of key markets.

In September 2008 this generated £13.4m worth of orders on an outlay of £40,000, a remarkable return on investment.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who has launched a range of measures as part of his Economic Recovery Action Plan to help businesses get advice on surviving the downturn, said:

“Fashion, like the other creative industries, plays a vital role in London’s economic success. Our aim is to protect its global reputation as a hotbed of world class established and emerging design talent and also as a dynamically inventive and cutting edge destination. It is essential we do everything we can to support the fashion industry so it comes through the downturn stronger as well as exciting and innovative.”

London Development Agency Chief Executive Peter Rogers said:

“London’s fashion industry makes a significant contribution to capital’s economy, with London Fashion Week alone bringing in millions to the economy each year. The benefits are felt across many sectors from retail to tourism. The LDA’s funding is helping the industry’s success to continue and to reach out to international markets that are vital to its success.”

The LDA also supports the British Fashion Council’s media programme, which seeks to capitalise and build on London’s reputation, aiming to get more, and better quality, press coverage around the world. Journalists from emerging markets like China, Brazil, the Middle East and Russia are invited to attend - taking the images and catwalk buzz around the world. At the same time, the British Fashion Council has built close relationships with the fashion press from more traditional markets like the USA, France and Italy - leading to more dedicated features on London Fashion Week and London’s emerging designer talent.

British Fashion Council Chief Executive Hilary Riva said:

“The funding from the LDA enables the British Fashion Council to promote British-based designer business and showcase new talent. London has become the world’s most creative and dynamic fashion centre. By targeting significant buyers and publications, we play a vital role in selling more British fashion and British talent around the world.”


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