Beginning on 1 September, Oxford Street will be the scene of what’s being previewed as the biggest London Fashion Week event ever. The British Fashion Council is partnering with retailers on Oxford Street to put on a fashion-and-shopping extravaganza lasting for seventeen days, expected to draw millions of visitors (plus a pretty large segment of Londoners) to the event.
London Fashion Week actually happens from 13 through 17 September, but Oxford Street will be putting on a show in the meantime that is intended to wow the fashion world as well as the buying public, and promote London as the place to be for up-and-coming designers.
Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, noted that since Oxford Street’s shops include many of the Council’s patrons, it made perfect sense that the street should be linked with Fashion Week, celebrating “. . . the creativity of British designers.” To that end, banners and flags will be flying from the first of September, waving some of 2013’s best fashion creations from catwalk photos.
Fashions from designers including Giles Deacon, Matthew Williamson and Alice Temperley will adorn 12-foot flags along the length of Oxford Street, showcasing their creations and adding to the general atmosphere of fashion as entertainment. Everyone shopping or strolling down the street will be able to feel and be part of that energy and creativity.
Participating in the shopping festival will be some of Britain’s biggest names in fashion such as John Lewis, Selfridges, H&M, Gap and TopShop. Shoppers will get to meet and mingle with a few of them; for example Ben De Lisi will be at Debenhams to talk about his new designs and give fashion advice to customers, and aspiring fashionistas will have a chance to learn from successful British entrepreneurs such as Mary Portas and Natalie Massanet.
The September event goes right along with a major project to ‘rebrand’ the street; “Ox St” is set to turn itself into the world’s most attractive destination for top fashion-makers, with a five-year, £25 million investment by the New West End Company developers.