After the riots which swept the capital, there is no doubt that London is in need of some good media coverage. What better tonic than the froth and glamour of London Fashion Week? It seems though that this year’s offering is already falling flat.
While London’s fashion scene is famous for its energetic and eclectic vibe, the capital’s September Fashion Week is failing to pull in some of the biggest brands around. While London was named the “world’s top fashion capital of 2011″ by Global Fashion Monitor – doubtless helped by the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress – London Fashion Week itself seems to be slipping off the radar.
Of course, it doesn’t help that New York Fashion Week has moved its dates so that London is now the drab filling in the fashion sandwich, sliced up by Milan on on side and New York the other. Many models are simply flying from Milan to the Big Apple, leaving London in their jet stream.

The London Fashion week is fast approaching. The biannual event, one taking place in September, and the other in February, holds the city’s reputation as one of the world’s fashion capitals. In fact with its eclectic trends it has just been named the Fashion Capital for 2011. But in spite of this status the fashion week in London has been losing out to rivals such as Paris and Milan, why is that? And can the British fashion industry preserve its reputation?
Industry figures say London has a lot going for it: creativity, innovation, cool. But compared to other capitals, it doesn’t have the financial clout to attract the “hottest” models. The Fashion Week this year promises a vast range of catwalks and other events across various venues. However as one journalist for the Observer noted, many of the most talked-about models of the moment will appear at fashion weeks in New York, Paris and Milan, but not in London. These are some household names, some the next big thing. Some fly in for a day or two, others skip London altogether.
Model agencies are saying that London designers are simply unrealistic about what they pay. Carole White, the founder of Premier Models said that London offered models only a fraction of the fees that they would ask elsewhere. The rates have not actually risen since 1980s, and since London doesn’t have the money, it is only natural that big names such as Kate Moss or Stella Tennant will make appearances elsewhere. That also makes London less appealing for new models which cannot even cover the expenses on the fees they receive.
In more precise terms models in London can pay ?250 a day for the use of the car, however they can hope to get only ?100 a show from a new designer. That can go up to ?500 or ?5000 for a really popular model. But some of the big shows in Milan and Paris can pay double this figure.
The real problem begins with scheduling of the fashion weeks. London is squashed in tightly between New York, which comes first, and Milan. Carole White warned that some of the most in-demand models could struggle to even make it to London which opens on the 16th of September. It makes more sense for them to get straight from New York to Milan, she explained. There is a lot of politics going on here, they seem to think it helps the buyers, but it doesn’t help the models, she added.

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