Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Burberry Prorsum to show in London for SS10

Maybe London Fashion Week might finally be a destination worth including in the international editors’ schedules, after the announcement today that Burberry Prorsum is showing in London for SS10 this September.

When I worked as an English fashion editor, I was fiercely partisan about the London shows, and was always shocked at how few international editors & buyers bothered to come to London, the so-called laboratory of trends.

La Wintour might come say every five years for a quick recce, and maybe US Elle might send Kate Lanphear, or US Vogue’s Hamish Bowles might swing by, but no editor in chief bothers to attend each season.

But then I moved to New York, and became the fashion director on a major US publication. And it all became crystal clear: attending the London collections from America is an exercise is setting fire to dollar bills. With no major advertisers to justify a physical schmoozing presence, the scoop on new designers can just as easily be picked up from style.com.

It's difficult enough justifying the cost of Paris & Milan. The final total for me (& no assistant) to attend five days of shows & meetings in Milan topped $7000 last time around – my car & driver alone came to $3000. Add on the cost of Paris & London & the logistical problems of being absent from office & home for over three weeks in a different time zone and omitting LFW with its lack of major advertising money suddenly becomes a very simple decision.

But if a major, major advertiser like Burberry decides to show its main line at LFW, (as opposed to, say Marc Jacobs bringing the relatively unimportant diffusion Marc by Marc show over here a few seasons back to support the Mount St store opening), then normally one has to presume that the editors will follow.

But, in this cash-strapped time, with head-count reductions across all the major US publications, can they really justify sending more editors to London to basically attend just one show in the hope of continued advertising dollars? Prepare for a nasty battle on the costs vs results equation at the US mags.

Grazia has the scoop here And get the inside track on what it's really like to attend the Milan Collections here