U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May leaving 10 Downing Street, London


FASHION BRIEFING: British prime minister Theresa May will usher in London Fashion Week for the first time with a private reception at No. 10 Downing Street later this week.

The fact that an industry reception is taking place is not new: Former first lady Samantha Cameron regularly hosted the affairs at the prime minister’s residence, and in 2008 another former first lady, Sarah Brown, celebrated 25 years of London Fashion Week with a party at No. 10.

This story first appeared in the September 13, 2016 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

This time, however, it’s a prime minister doing the hosting, one who is adamant that as Britain negotiates its way out of the European Union, it remains a hub of business and enterprise.

May is also Britain’s most fashion-conscious government leader in recent history, sporting labels such as Vivienne Westwood, Roland Mouret, Anya Hindmarch, Amanda Wakeley, Orla Kiely, Russell & Bromley, L.K. Bennett and Clarks. She regularly wears kitten heels, embellished flats and mock croc over-the-knee boots.

Last October, during a speech at the Women in the World summit, May said: “I like clothes and I like shoes. One of the challenges for women in the workplace is to be ourselves, and I say you can be clever and like clothes. You can have a career and like clothes.”

Two years ago, May told the long-running BBC radio show “Desert Island Discs” that if she were a castaway, her one luxury item would be a lifetime subscription to Vogue, while her one book would be “Pride and Prejudice.”

According to an item in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, May is expected to emphasize the importance of apprenticeships in the industry and of inspiring young creative people, as she aims to create more social mobility.

After taking office in July, she said hers is a “vision of a country that works not for the privileged few, but works for every one of us. Because we’re going to give people more control over their lives.”

The event is to take place with the BFC’s chairman Natalie Massenet. Downing Street did not return phone calls at press time.

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