Hot on the heels of New York Fashion Week, London will host over 80 catwalk shows across the capital
London Fashion Week enjoys boost from big brands
London is stepping into its role as style capital with the opening of Fashion Week.
The extravaganza features five days of catwalk shows - over 80 in all - and presentations along with dozens of parties.
The roster includes established star performers like Burberry, Emporio Armani and Versus by Versace along with upcoming talents fresh from London's design academies - and from the streets.
Caroline Rush, chief of the British Fashion Council, said on Friday the British fashion industry has gone from "strength to strength" in the last decade and now generates roughly £28 billion to the British economy. She said 880,000 people are employed in the fashion field.
"London is the most diverse, multicultural and open city in the world and we fiercely want to protect that reputation," she added.
In a statement, designer Giorgio Armani said: "London - dynamic, energetic and cosmopolitan - represents global culture." He described the British capital as the "perfect setting" to unveil his new collection.
Armani's Sunday evening slot will be a highlight of the 66th London Fashion Week, showcasing a ready-to-wear women's collection for spring/summer 2018.
The giant of Italian fashion, more used to the catwalks of Milan, will also take the opportunity to open Emporio Armani's revamped store in the upmarket Mayfair area of central London.
Saturday will see shows by British prodigies Gareth Pugh and J.W. Anderson, followed by the hot ticket Burberry at the end of the day.
It will be the first collection by the quintessentially British brand since the arrival of new president Marco Gobbetti, former chairman of French luxury brand Celine.
Gobbetti has been tasked with reviving Burberry which has suffered from stagnation.
New York brand Nicopanda will unveil a six-piece streetwear collection on Saturday, created for Amazon Fashion, a new initiative for the online marketplace which will see the clothes go on sale at the end of the show.
In addition to Armani, Sunday will see shows by TopShop, Versus Versace - the Italian company's second brand - as well as contemporary line MM6 from Parisian label Maison Martin Margiela.
Tommy Hilfiger will close Fashion Week on Tuesday evening with a show hosted by the Roundhouse arts venue, known for concerts by stars including Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and David Bowie.
"London's inspiring heritage of fashion and music creates the perfect place to celebrate our next show," the New York designer told the website Women's Wear Daily.