London's fashion pack turns focus to business for online sales

Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:57am EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's emerging talent kicked off the first day of London Fashion Week with designs featuring oversized coats, geometric shapes and voluminous skirts, amid hopes online demand for luxury goods is growing stronger.

Delicate embroidered dresses paired with cropped jackets highlighted Turkish designer Bora Aksu's show on Friday, in colors of gold, dusty pinks and pale blue inspired by Irish writer Oscar Wilde's The Nightingale and the Rose.

Earlier, Korean-born designer Eudon Choi sent models down the runway in boxy leather jackets decorated with colorful geometric shapes, oversized scarves and floral printed flares.

More than 5,000 buyers, journalists and bloggers have flocked to London to see emerging talent like Aksu and Choi showcase their designs alongside leading designers Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood and Burberry's Christopher Bailey.

This season sees the British Fashion Council (BFC) focus on how designers can grow their businesses into successful brands and boost growth in Britain's 26 billion pound ($39.98 billion) fashion industry.

"It is fantastic that we are seeing these young businesses going from strength to strength," Chief Executive Caroline Rush told Reuters.

"The next stage of course is thinking about e-commerce and online businesses and again as part of our business pillar, I’m working closely with the tech sector looking at some quick wins and some really strong guys to help in e-commerce," Rush added.

With online fashion sales expected to reach 19 billion pounds in the next four years, according to research firm Mintel, designers are turning to social media like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to help drive more online purchases.

"We have been very focused on the past year or so, helping designers to understand how they can best use social media," Rush said.   Continued...

Models present creations for the Bora Aksu Autumn/Winter 2015 collection at London Fashion Week in London February 20, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville