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London Fashion Week looks beyond Burberry | The week ahead, BoF Professional




London Fashion Week, Unmoored

  • London Fashion Week runs September 17-21

  • Several major brands are missing from the calendar, including Burberry and Victoria Beckham

  • Notable designers featured include Supriya Lele, Harris Reed and Nensi Dojaka

Burberry and Victoria Beckham, two London Fashion Week anchors, are out of the program this year. The absence of Burberry is particularly painful, as it is the UK brand with the most strength in attracting international publishers and buyers to London (although many top players still come, including Vogues Anna Wintour) . But Burberry’s absence also makes more room for London designers who hope to revive the city’s image as a hotbed of emerging talent. Insiders are talking about Supriya Lele, who is returning to fashion week after a two-year hiatus and whose past collections have been inspired by everything from her Indian heritage to the Y2K aesthetic. Harris Reed, recently named GQ’s British Designer of the Year, is also on the radar, showing off schedule his fluid genre fashion at the Serpentine Gallery. Ditto Nensi Dojaka, whose fishnet dresses were all the rage with Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber and, more recently, the jury which awards the LVMH Prize.

The bottom line: Small, lively brands may not be able to make up for Burberry’s absence, but London Fashion Week argues that a fashion show in September or February is always the right move for a new generation of exciting designers. That said, it’s telling that some of the designers who gave NYFW back some of its buzz, including Christopher John Rogers, Pyer Moss and Telfar, have since chosen to show elsewhere, or not at all.

The return of the Met Gala

  • The Met Gala will be held on September 13, having been canceled in 2020 and postponed from May

  • Expect a smaller crowd, and perhaps younger (average age of famous co-chairs is 23)

  • Instagram is sponsoring the event and accompanying exhibition, with creations by featured designers for sale on the platform

It was inevitable that some would smell blood in the water with a scaled-down Met Gala. Anonymous publicists chatted in the New York Post about how the event had lost its luster and A-List celebrities were walking away for fear of being photographed near tables full of TikTok influencers. It’s no exaggeration to assume that this year’s Met Gala will generate less buzz than the pre-pandemic editions; if the Olympics, the Oscars and the Super Bowl couldn’t draw the same crowds, Anna Wintour would probably have to lower her expectations as well. But the influencer debate seems a bit stale, given that it has intensified at least every year since Kim Kardashian received her first invite in 2013. Hollywood is no longer producing megastars, so the fashion industry must look elsewhere for celebrities who resonate with their customers, who are increasingly found online. Money too: Instagrams sponsoring the gala, with exclusive products created by American designers such as Virgil Abloh, Christopher John Rogers and Prabal Gurung.

The bottom line: This is the first Met Gala since the protests last summer as well as the 2020 election and the January 6 uprising. The theme of the event, American fashion, practically demands that organizers and attendees engage in the present moment.

A new sneaker giant

  • On Running filed an IPO that would value the shoemaker at $ 6 billion

  • The brand, supported by Roger Federer, rose to the top of the running category in the space of a decade.

  • Proceeds from IPO will be used for store opening and international expansion

We were founded in 2010, but today we find ourselves at the head of an overcrowded peloton in the rapidly growing market for running shoes. Sales of the brand soared 59% last year, to 425.3 million Swiss francs (about $ 464 million), and are expected to grow nearly 50% this year. Unlike Allbirds, the other big upcoming sneaker IPO, On is also profitable.

How did they do it? Much of Ons’ success is based on an innovatively designed combination of cushioning designed to soften landings that draw long-distance runners, with looks that appeal to Dover Street Market and Ssense shoppers as well. An alliance with Roger Federer, who invested in the brand in 2019, gives the seal of approval of a globally recognized elite athlete, another must for any rising sneaker brand.

The bottom line: As On has grown, there remains something of a niche name outside of racing circles. The IPO is likely to change that, allowing the brand to open more stores, invest in e-commerce and expand into new markets.

-Marc Bain contributed to this article

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