Spotlight shines on London for fashion talent, digital outreach

Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:31am EST
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By Li-mei Hoang

LONDON (Reuters) - London Fashion Week will showcase the British capital's reputation for creativity and digital innovation when it opens on Friday, amid signs the global luxury market is strengthening.

Fashion favorites such as Burberry, Paul Smith and Tom Ford will vie with edgy youth labels Christopher Kane, Peter Pilotto and Simone Rocha in catwalk shows and presentations.

"London is the most creative and experimental of cities. It is all about emerging talent and new ideas," said Helen David, fashion director at luxury department store Harrods.

The number of luxury goods consumers is set to rise to 440 million in 2020 from 380 million now, according to a study by luxury goods association Altagamma and consultancy Boston Consulting Group. Two-thirds of growth in the luxury market over the next decade will be organic, as sales volumes generated in the same stores rise year-on-year, the study found.

More than 5,000 buyers and journalists from around the world are expected to attend the five-day London event, which brings in an estimated 100 million pounds ($164.84 million) of orders each season, two thirds of which are from international buyers.

"We're seeing a lot of spend coming from international tourists, so lots of Chinese, Russian, Middle Easterners come to London, particularly to shop for luxury," said Fflur Roberts, Head of Global Luxury Goods at research firm Euromonitor International.

More than 80 designers are expected to show collections featuring bold punchy colors for autumn/winter 2014, as well as monochrome patterns already in vogue, industry experts say.

"Last season's pastels will be replaced with bright colors and shades of purple and magenta will be key," said David.   Continued...