London tops New York as global fashion capital

Thu Sep 6, 2012 4:21pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - London topped New York as the global fashion capital for the second consecutive year, according to a new ranking released on Thursday, the start of New York Fashion Week.

As designers, buyers, models, stylists and fashionistas converged on the Big Apple for the semi-annual event that attracts 116,000 people, New York placed second on the annual list the tracks interest on the Internet and in the media, followed by Barcelona, Paris and Madrid.

Paul Payack, the president of the Global Language Monitor (GLM), which compiles the annual results, said Kate Middleton and the 2012 Summer Olympics helped London retain the title for the second consecutive year.

"Kate Middleton has proved to be incredibly impactful on the British fashion brand," said Payack, adding that a recent survey showed her influence has contributed to millions of pounds (dollars) in sales this year. "The second thing is the Olympics being in the UK."

Middleton has not put a foot wrong fashionwise since her engagement and marriage to Prince William, and a nod to British fashion was even included in the closing ceremony of the Olympics. Both cemented London's position this year in the global fashion scene.

The British capital has been in a tug of war with New York since the Austin-based analytics and media tracking company started compiling the ranking nine years ago.

Paris placed third overall but was No. 1 in haute couture, while Spain proved its fashion prowess with two cities in the top five.

"For high fashion Paris is number one but it not the media machine these other places are. Barcelona has made a really strong attempt to move forward and those efforts are paying off," Payack explained.   Continued...

REFILE - CORRECTING TYPO IN NAME A model presents a creation from the Richard Chai Spring/Summer 2013 collection during New York Fashion Week, September 6, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton