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By Ronke Adeyemi

 Tuesday, September 28, 2010.

London Fashion Week ended last week and had the usual glamourous fashion shows, after parties, celebrities on the front row and various launches. Over six days, there was a huge plethora of designers showing their offering for next Spring and Summer, but the catwalk shows have not just been restricted to the BFC tent; other partners such as Vauxhall Fashion Scout and On/Off have been drawing a huge crowd with their shows. However, LFW was given a huge boost with the announcement that the British fashion industry is worth nearly £12 billion (yes billion!) proving to be the one of the most creative industries. The irony of this statement does not escape me  as life in the Brit fashion industry is far from rosey. 

I was having a BBM discussion with Janice from Mad News about the position of London Fashion Week in comparison with the other fashion weeks such as New York, Milan and Paris. Jan was under the impression that LFW was up there in the echelons when in reality the event is very low down the ranks. LFW is seen as the quirkier and edgy sister and the place to go for ideas and trends but in terms of sales that is all done in New York, Milan and Paris. Most of the top editors skip London after New York and head straight for Milan along with most of the top models.

Reason being?

Well simply - cold cash or rather lack of. As slick as the British Fashion Council may appear to be there is a serious problem with finances within the British fashion scene. A lot of new designers in this country struggle to get their business off the ground and even when they do it is a constant struggle for them to get the next collection out. Initiatives like On/Off and Vauxhall Scout Fashion were set up to provide new designers with a platform to show their work which would hopefully lead them to bigger and better things and have done a fantastic job and now there are other collectives that are set up to promote up and coming designers.

Fashion Diversity, Fashion Mavericks and Untold are just a few organisations who are showcasing new designers. Fashion Diversity has been running for two years and their objective is to re-addrress the balance of diversity during London Fashion Week by raising the profile and supporting designers and models within the UK fashion industry. This took place in the form of a two day celebration of fashion which consists of a press launch and a VIP gala show, a fashion show featuring the work of students and graduates as well as a fashion show for the public. Last Thursday I went down to the press launch and gala awards which took place at Islington Metal Works.

The event was a collaboration between Mahogany Model Management and Untold Design CIC and featured the works of Mong, Nias World, Aaron Purean Khan, Arif Khan, Aamaa Couture, Bibi Grafitti, Chichia London, Blaq by Sasha James and Kevin Patrick. The designs were a mixture of modern designs with shells and embellishments as well as African prints. Designers, Adebayo Jones, Jolaby and Patrick Kevin were rightfully given awards to honor their careers and success in the fashion industry and both Adebayo Jones and Patrick Kevin showed off their collection for us to see. I was really impressed with the quality of the designs as well as the elaborate make up and it is great to see designers with a much smaller profile getting their props.

For more information about Fashion Diversity check out their website

Image by Ronke Adeyemi.


Ronke Adeyemi is a fashion writer with a background in journalism, marketing and PR.  She blogs at The Musings of Ondo Lady.

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