In September, London Fashion Week will take an international turn with Tommy Hilfiger staging his first see-now-buy-now runway event outside the U.S., and Emporio Armani showing — and hosting a party — to mark the reopening of the brand’s Bond Street store.
Ralph & Russo, which is based in London but shows its couture in Paris, will make its ready-to-wear debut on Sept. 15, the first day of the five-day showcase, which runs until Sept. 19. The moves are part of the British Fashion Council’s grand plan to open its arms even wider to the outside world as Britain prepares for Brexit.
“We are focused on maintaining London’s reputation: These international brands showing here is proof that our industry is truly global and that London plays a unique and important role,” said Caroline Rush, chief executive officer of the BFC, adding the aim is “to maintain London as an open and commercial space for fashion business.”
Hilfiger is to close London Fashion Week with a runway spectacle that’s previously taken place in New York and Los Angeles. Hilfiger will stage TommyNow at 7 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the city’s Roundhouse concert venue. The last time Armani showed in London was during his “One Night Only” event in 2006. The designer will make a comeback with a show at 7 p.m. on Sept. 17, followed by a party.
Hazel Catterall, head of women’s wear buying at Harvey Nichols, said London “doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves, with Milan and Paris fashion weeks packed with huge designers.”
Catterall said Hilfiger and Armani would add additional excitement to the week and hopefully draw a bigger international crowd.
“Tommy Hilfiger’s shows are always such a production and bring a huge sense of fun to fashion week,” Catterall said. “They, as well as Emporio Armani, have such a loyal cult following that hopefully the shows will bring in a new crowd. Already, there has been such a buzz in the industry to see what the brands will bring.”