London Fashion Week merges men’s showcase into February calendar – WWD

London fashion will be a mobile feast in the first half of 2022, with designers showing off-hours, on-hours and in Milan and Paris as they duck and dive to navigate COVID-19 winter restrictions and the rising tide from Omicron.

In January there will be no men’s shows, and the February edition of London Fashion Week takes place again as a unisex showcase. While many designers agree with those changes, others choose to do their own thing and host events that speak to both trade and consumers.

John Alexander Skelton, known for his nostalgic approach to menswear tailoring, is now set to showcase the brand’s Fall 2022 collection on January 8 with “a kind of ceremonial performance” in the crypt of St. Pancras in central London.

“I never wanted to be a part of all the gibberish of fashion week and its circus presence,” Skelton told WWD. “My first two shows weren’t at fashion week and the rest were never on the schedule, but it had to be during fashion week since I started having a showroom in Paris for sales. There’s nothing subversive or interesting about fashion week – it’s as iconic to the establishment as you can get, which just doesn’t pique my interest.”

Men’s designer Craig Green is also expected to present after hours. He plans to return to London and present his fall 2022 collection on February 9.

Following several show-in-a-box presentations, Jonathan Anderson will bring his JW Anderson men’s and women’s pre-fall collections to Milan as part of the official program organized by Italy’s Camera della Moda.

Bianca Saunders, who took home the ANDAM Fashion Award last year, will present her new collection in Paris in cooperation with the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode on January 19.

In a previous interview with WWD, Saunders said, “I want to become a household name. Being in Paris is what really gives you more international credibility.”

For the February edition of London Fashion Week, a slew of emerging designers are scheduled to put on physical shows, including Asai, Bethany Williams, Conner Ives, Feng Chen Wang, Nicholas Daley, Paolo Carzana, SS Daley, Saul Nash, Stefan Cooke, and Yuhan Wang.

London anchor brands such as Erdem, Simone Rocha, David Koma, Emilia Wickstead, Roksanda and Temperley are also expected to return, as well as rising stars such as Halpern, Nensi Dojaka, Knwls and Rejina Pyo.

It is not yet clear whether Burberry, London’s biggest brand, will be presenting during London Fashion Week, which runs from February 18-22.

During the last seasons the brand has been experimenting with new formats and times. Burberry launched its spring 2022 men’s collection digitally during Paris Men’s Fashion Week, while the women’s collection was a runway movie that aired in late September just as Milan Fashion Week was wrapping up. and Paris was beginning.

Due to COVID-19, Brexit and the usual ups and downs for designers, London Fashion Week has always been forced to adapt and strategize.

The British Fashion Council canceled the January 2022 menswear show mainly due to uncertainties around the pandemic, only heightened during the holidays due to the Omicron variant. Admittedly, the show’s early date, just after New Year’s Day, has long been problematic for designers, press and buyers, and it’s not yet clear if those early January shows will ever return.

However, the June 2022 men’s shows are scheduled to continue, COVID-19 permitting.

The BFC also said it decided not to go ahead in January after assessing the challenges around the movement of goods, samples and people between the UK and mainland Europe post-Brexit, and following surveys and roundtable discussions with designers, as well as discussions. with sales showrooms. . All products from the European Union to the United Kingdom need a customs declaration from January 1.

London Fashion Week is also facing broader challenges beyond COVID-19 and Brexit.

Most of London’s brands are small businesses that increasingly rely on direct-to-consumer channels rather than wholesalers. Plus, putting on shows is expensive: the minimum required to put on a proper show during London Fashion Week is at least £150,000.

While BFC is doing its best to offer free funds and space to some designers by partnering with sponsors like Clearpay and TikTok, it often doesn’t make financial sense for some brands to spend that kind of money on a show.

A London-based fashion designer who has performed in multiple cities told WWD that “the professional audience is not here. Doing a show here doesn’t generate the same amount of buzz. Instead of burning through all that cash, I can allocate the budget elsewhere to improve my direct-to-consumer business.”