Designers say new LC:M showroom space is a success
It’s only been three years since London Collections: Men started in June 2012, but it’s already hard to imagine the British fashion scene without the event. At Victoria House in the beautiful Bloomsbury area in central London, the vibe on Saturday was buzzing, as visitors checked out the Designer Showrooms now located here. It’s the first time they’ve all been together under one roof, and the space also houses a BFC Show Space - for the ultimate menswear week experience.
One of the showrooms hosts the Ready-to-Wear collections, where labels from all over the world showcased their collections to press and buyers. Here, Pfeffer PR had gathered three Portuguese brands; KLAR, Hugo Costa and Mafalda Fonseca. And their experience of LC:M had been positive so far, the brands, most of whom showed in London for the first time, said.
“The Fonseca brand offers something different with its colourblocking and textures, and our collection has been well-received,” said Daniel Nunes, who represented the brand at LC:M. Pfeffer account manager Lauren Matthews said their stands had been busy during the first day, with a slower Saturday, as that day hosted more shows. “It’s been a really good press turnout and people have been very receptive. There’s a nice vibe,” she said.
Jonathan Tavares of the Hugo Costa brand, a young company that works extensively with Portuguese craftsmen and production houses, said the label had received an “astonishing” reception. “British buyers like that we have this connection to tradition,” he said. The label would like to continue to show in London, and plenty of visitors stopped to eye up the mesh bomber jacket that had been getting the most attention so far.
Sustainability was a word used by a few different exhibitors at LC:M this year, including Portuguese brand KLAR, which is completely vegan and had had an “intense and exciting” time at LC:M. The label’s graphic prints and cool details, like the oversized metal rings on the sleeves, made for an exciting men’s collection.
Among the designers showing were, naturally, also plenty of homegrown talents, among them Lou Dalton. Just two hours after the designer had shown her collection on the catwalk, the pieces were hanging at her stand, their furry textures inviting passers-by to stop and stroke them. “It’s our sixth year showing in London and it’s always gone really smoothly,” said Agata Kluba, who was manning the stand. She, too, was happy with the event. “Victoria House is such a great venue – it’s bigger and there’s more people around,” she said. Of the buyers, she explained: “There’s something about the London fashion scene that US and Asian buyers really like. I think the fact that there’s so much different menswear fashion in London makes it really attractive for foreign buyers.” The brand had already made a few appointments with foreign buyers and eagerly awaited responses to the show, an aspect that obviously also dictates the sales.
Another London-based designer, Clara Martin, who showed at LC:M for the second time, said she thought there was “more industry” at the showroom this season. “It’s a bigger, better location, and it’s good to have the showspace in the same place,” she told FashionMag. “There’s quite a few international buyers around – I just spoke to Japan and there’s a group from Berlin on the way.” As her label is currently just online, Martin was hoping to make contact with buyers to get a London stockist. Her colourful tracksuits were among the standout pieces in the collection.
All in all, it would seem the new showrooms are a definite success, and London Collections: Men continues to be something of a trailblazer when it comes to men’s fashion. And much of its success seems to be down to the BFC’s dedication to creating a good environment for the designers. Kluba concludes: “It’s great that London really looks after its designers, and the whole experience has been really smooth.”
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