London Collections Men kicked off in the capital this morning at an opening reception following the SS16 TOPMAN show. Dylan Jones OBE, Chair of London Collections Men announced that the event had grown both in size and meaning to reflect a sector that in Britain is growing faster than womenswear. It was also announced that Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton would join David Gandy, Dermot O’Leary, Nick Grimshaw and Tinie Tempah as an official London Collections Men Ambassador alongside LCM’s first International Ambassador, newly appointed Hu Bing. Guests included international press, buyers, industry figureheads, menswear ambassadors, committee members and supporters including Darren Kennedy, David Gandy, David Harewood MBE, Douglas Booth, Hu Bing, Jack Guinness, Nick Grimshaw, Oliver Cheshire, Robert Konjic and Tinie Tempah.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who is backing LCM through the British Fashion Council, said: “I'm delighted to support London Collections Men, which showcases some of the best menswear designers in the world. On the catwalk, in the shops and on the streets, there is no doubt that men's fashion in London is a cut above the rest.”
New statistics from Mintel released at the opening reception reveal:
• The men’s clothing market has seen sales rise by 22% in the last five years to reach £13.5 billion in 2014, growing at a faster rate than womenswear, driven by a growing interest in men’s fashion and more retailers expanding into menswear. This year sales of menswear are set to reach £14.1 billion
• 27% of male shoppers show a preference for purchasing British clothes, shoes and accessories. The market has been bolstered by men’s interest in their appearance and their tendency to wear branded clothes more than women
• Footwear has also grown in popularity among men, with nearly two fifths (38%) having bought a pair of shoes in the last three months (December 2014) up from 35% in December 2013
• At the end of 2014, young men were equally as fashion conscious as their female counterparts with the same proportion (50%) of males and females aged 16-24 purchasing clothes in the last three months
Tamara Sender, Senior Fashion Analyst at Mintel said: “The men’s clothing market has been growing at a faster rate than womenswear. The biannual dedicated fashion event for men known as ‘London Collections Men’ has created a buzz around menswear and allowed more men to feel justified in caring about their appearance.”
Dylan Jones OBE, Chair of London Collections: Men and Editor of British GQ said:
“It’s with pleasure to welcome you to the home of menswear as we celebrate the seventh edition of London Collections Men.
Each season, for the last three and a half years I’ve been able to boast that the event has grown in importance and size. Once again, London Collections has grown even bigger and better and for spring/summer 2016 welcomes 77 designers to the schedule and 68 designers to the Designer Showrooms. It’s down to your commitment and support that each season I am able to make this claim so a big thank you to all of you.
The growth of London Collections is set to continue, reflecting the UK and international menswear sector which is currently growing faster than womenswear. Last season we told you that end of year sales for men’s clothing in the UK reached £12.9 billion, but today the final count has come in showing that sales rose by 22% over the last five years totalling £13.5 billion in 2014. This year Mintel predicts that sales of menswear are set to reach an impressive £14.1 billion.
It’s the fashion designers leading the menswear movement who are influencing this sector, its sales and the relationship men have with their clothes, and over the next four days all of you will discover first-hand the collections that will set the global trends to come. As the world grows more interconnected, London’s relevance as the epicentre of menswear design grows stronger. Fashion design - a great celebration of creative freedom – is a global language, and it’s here in London that the designers are so varying and diverse that they speak to the whole world.
This season’s London Collections is packed with shows, presentations, installations, exhibitions, dinners and parties – and although it will fly by in a blur, look closely and you’ll find a connected community made up of recently graduated fashion design geniuses, exciting emerging talent - both contemporary and creative; fashion designers who ten years ago who had not yet set up shop, but who today are setting the global fashion agenda; tailors that are upholding hundreds of years of tradition not to mention British and international fashion brands – the heavyweights whose influence spreads far and wide.
It is together that this community speaks to the world and that each season attracts a global audience that is growing in numbers.
Since we created London Collections Men in June 2012 the attendance from American press and buyers has risen by 81%. From Europe excluding the UK, it’s increased by 91% and from China it has grown by a whopping 185%.
Before I end by thanking you all, I would like you to join me in welcoming our first international ambassador who has travelled from China to support and celebrate London Collections Men - Mr Hu Bing.
The London Collections Men ambassadors - David Gandy, Dermot O’Leary, Nick Grimshaw and Tinie Tempah - do a fantastic job at supporting the showcase and bringing the wonderful things you see here to their own audiences.
Today we would like to announce an exciting new addition to the line-up – he’s the world champion boy racer who went from go-kart to Formula1 in a matter of years – Mr Lewis Hamilton.
Many thanks for to you all for coming, to the menswear committee, the cultural roundtable, the Mayor’s Office, to Caroline Rush CBE and the BFC team and last but not least to the brilliant sponsors without whose support none of this would be possible.
Have a tremendous week.”
The generosity and commitment of our sponsors is more vital than ever. Please help us by acknowledging their support for London Collections Men, January 2015: Official Sponsors Fudge Professional; GQ; The Hospital Club; Lavazza Coffee; Penhaligon’s; Mercedes-Benz; Radisson Blu Edwardian, London; Superdry; Swatch; TOPMAN; The Woolmark Company Official Suppliers Fashion and Beauty Monitor; Little Miracles Drinks; Rightster; Warsteiner Lager.
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