The Mayor of London Boris Johnson is launching a new campaign to promote the booming British menswear industry, which brings £10 billion to the UK's economy and is growing at such a rate that it is predicted to overtake womenswear sales by 2016.
The capital's pioneering and creative menswear designers are once again being showcased at London Collections: Men (LC: M), which takes place from 6-8 January 2014. Organised by the British Fashion Council, LC: M has in just three seasons become an essential fixture on the international fashion circuit, with its mix of classic British brands, new independent London labels and designers, and the best in fresh, up and coming talent.
To coincide with this high-profile men's fashion event, the Mayor is launching the London Home of Menswear competition to find the most stylish postcode in the capital. Londoners are being encouraged to say why their area is the capital's fashion hotspot. Those entering have the chance of winning some fantastic fashion prizes. These include a covetable made-to-measure three-piece suit by E. Tautz, the 19th century British military tailors, brought back to life by Norton & Sons in 2009; a pair of sharp shoes by Mr. Hare, famed for its rakish designs and elegant details; and a delightful tartan dog designed by Christopher Raeburn. Five runners-up will receive tickets to see the Hello My Name is Paul Smith exhibition at the Design Museum.
'As the birthplace of the three-piece suit, the trench coat and the bowler hat, London has an unrivalled men's fashion heritage. But our city is still setting the pace, with the emergence of new, exciting and cutting-edge designers. Their creative talent is why London Collections: Men has become the most important showcase of men's fashion in the world. Our goal is to ensure that London remains ahead of the world fashion pack, and to support an important sector that creates thousands of jobs and generates £10 billion pounds each year.' - The Mayor of London Boris Johnson
Dylan Jones OBE, Editor GQ and Chair of London Collections: Men said: 'Season four of London Collections: Men promises to be the best one yet, as it has such a vast array of great shows, presentations, events, dinners and parties. LC: M has already become a staple of the menswear calendar, and is a fabulous way to kick off the season. We have all been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for the project, and the scale and ambition of all the many designers who are now showing here is incredibly infectious. To those of you who have yet to come to LC: M, all I can say is: come on in, the water's lovely!'
Patrick Grant, British fashion designer and creative director of bespoke tailors Norton & Sons of Savile Row, said: 'Since the dawn of the suit back in the reign of Charles II, London has set the agenda for men of style with successive British Monarchs establishing styles copied across the globe. The tailors of Savile Row, the shirt makers of Jermyn St, and the cloth houses of London have clothed the world's most influential and elegant men for more than seven centuries.'
Christopher Raeburn, the British fashion designer and Artistic Director of Victorinox, said: 'I'm proud to be a designer in London, the home of menswear. With such a rich heritage and groundswell of creativity it's an exciting place to be; the momentum building with London Collections: Men has given us a platform to be proud of and it's fantastic that the eyes of the world are now truly looking to see what's next.'
From Mayfair, St James's and the West End, to Shoreditch, Hoxton and the East End, London is not just an important menswear shopping destination, its streets are steeped in fashion history. The capital is the birthplace of the bowler hat, as well as being home to Lock & Co, the world's oldest hat shop. London can also lay claim to the three-piece suit and the trench coat, and it was on the capital's streets that bondage trousers came to prominence as an iconic symbol of counterculture. London style leaders over the centuries have ranged from Beau Brummel to Oscar Wilde and David Bowie to Tinie Tempah.
Some of that history is featured in the London Menswear Heritage Study published last year by the Mayor of London and British Fashion Council (downloadable from http://bit.ly/1blUqKE
) and there are a number of other opportunities to explore menswear design whilst London Collections: Men is on. They include The Anatomy of the Suit at Museum of London; Hello, My Name is Paul Smith at the Design Museum; Georgians Revealed at the British Library; and the fashion galleries at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Over the course of the competition there will be a dedicated poster campaign run on the London bus and underground network featuring Londoners wearing some of the UK’s signature menswear styles
For more information about the London Home of Menswear competition and other information about how the Mayor is supporting this important sector go to www.london.gov.uk/home-of-menswear