Fashion capitals hammer out schedule compromise

Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:53am EDT
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By Paul Casciato

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - London Fashion Week staved off a tight squeeze between rival shows in New York and Milan next season in a compromise deal with fashion councils in New York, Milan and Paris, the British Fashion Council said on Tuesday.

BFC Chairman Harold Tillman said in a statement that the four fashion capitals agreed to secure London a five-day slot on the global fashion calendar. That means London loses one day from its current six-day catwalk schedule.

"I am delighted that this meeting has brought our fashion capitals closer together," Tillman said. "It has highlighted our interdependence, commitment to nurturing talent and our sharing of ideas and goals."

The agreement means London, which generates some 100 million pounds in business and 50 million pounds in media advertising, will not be squeezed into a four-day sprint.

That would have forced the BFC to consider making decisions about two-tiered schedules or juggling its commitment to cutting-edge youth designers against big-drawing names such as Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith.

Talk of the squeeze emerged last year after the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) announced it intended to move its dates for the upcoming autumn 2009 season in February.

"We all agree it is very important to preserve London Fashion Week, it provides the pool of talent we all benefit from," designer and CFDA President Diane Von Furstenberg also said in the statement.

One of New York's main reasons for changing its dates is to avoid the Labor Day holiday and late summer when Italian garment factories are on holiday, making the production of samples for the spring/summer shows difficult.   Continued...

<p>A model wears a creation by Ossie Clarke during his spring/summer 2009 show at London Fashion Week September 14, 2008. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>