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Investing in London fashion makes sound business sense, Mayor of London
Sep '09
With London's fashion leaders in the Big Apple for New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week celebrating 25 years at Somerset House on Friday, newly released figures show that the British Fashion Council's International Guest Programme has brought millions of pounds into the capital's fashion industry.

Sponsorship and support for the scheme, which invites influential buyers and journalists from around the world to London Fashion Week, was worth £110,000 in February 2009. £31,500 came from the London Development Agency, the remainder from UK Trade and Investment, British Airways and the May Fair Hotel. Returns up to May, show it resulted in sales estimated at approximately £18,500,000. International media coverage was worth around £15,500,000.

This represents a 30-fold return, adding to the revenue generated as a result of hotels, restaurants and other services used by the industry during London Fashion Week.

Mayor Boris Johnson, who this evening hosts a reception celebrating London's creative sector at famous jewellers Asprey in New York, said: 'From top hats to miniskirts and couture to street fashion, London has made an unparalleled contribution to global fashion industry. New York fashion is of course hugely successful and I am immensely proud that our designers, models and stylists are in demand here and around the world.

'I'm delighted that in the 25th year of London Fashion Week, some of our best designers are showing again – and that key fashion editors are returning. If you are still undecided, I urge New Yorkers to come and join us for a fantastic show.'

The Mayor said it was vital to continue supporting the fashion industry, especially during the downturn.

'Working with the British Fashion Council we can ensure that London Fashion Week offers a high profile platform for designers and – crucially - brings in sales. Every £1 spent on the International Guest Programme produces a return of £880 and there's no doubt in my mind this represents excellent value and makes sound business sense.'

The British Fashion Council wants to reach established and emerging fashion markets, carefully targeting buyers and journalists from USA, Japan, France, Italy and the rest of Europe, the Middle East, Russia and CIS, China, South Korea, Brazil and India. The aim is to raise London Fashion Week's profile globally and consolidate its position as one of the four leading fashion capitals, as well as generating important press coverage and stimulating designers' sales performance worldwide.

Joint Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council Caroline Rush added 'London Fashion Week will celebrate its 25th Anniversary by showcasing outstanding design talent across iconic, established and emerging designer businesses. London always offers something innovative and new and this season is no different: London Fashion Week moves to its new home at Somerset House; welcomes Burberry Prorsum, Pringle of Scotland, Matthew Williamson, Jonathan Saunders and Antonio Berardi onto its catwalk show schedule; introduces a new presentation schedule and once again provides a platform for the world's most creative businesses to reaffirm their place at the forefront of this global industry. The support that we receive from the London Development Agency, UKTI and commercial sponsors is vital in helping us to promote British designers worldwide.'

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