Quotes like this annoy me:
“London has overtaken New York as the world’s fashion capital for 2011, according to a survey by the Texas-based trend analyser, Global Language Monitor.” (Telegraph)
First of all, why was New York the previous fashion capital? The one and only true capital of fashion is Paris. Which brings me to my second point, London can’t be in first place now, because Paris is and always has been in first place. And third, who the hell is the Global Language Monitor and what gives them the authority to decide this? Apparently their “discovery” is based on words and phrases in print, electronic and social media. So I guess “fashion” is mentioned more often by Londoners than Parisiens on Twitter? That might just be because in Paris they speak FRENCH. This is ridiculous, and I am going to tell you why.
1. London Fashion Week was practically non existent a few years ago. I lived in London for ten years, and it was only in the past few years that people actually started attending LFW. I have a friend who works for Vogue Paris, and I asked her if she was coming to LFW a few years back, and she said “We don’t send anyone to London Fashion Week.” It is only in recent years that Anna Wintour and the big names have bothered to start turning up. (And by the way, all of the London brands have showrooms in Paris to sell their collections. They have to do this, because they know that very few buyers bother to come to London to buy. Paris is where all the buying takes place.)
2. Topshop puts on the coolest fashion shows in London. Sure, they aren’t all about Topshop clothing, they actually present fashion shows by some of London’s best young brands. But the fact that a fast fashion retailer is responsible for the best fashion show venue and some of the best shows is proof alone that London is not the world’s fashion capital.
3. There are WAY less big fashion brands in London than there are in other cities. Look at the catwalk schedules for Paris, New York, and Milan, compared to London. There is no competition. If you were a fashion editor and you could only do three, you’d give London a miss.
4. The UK is too small a market to support its own fashion brands. If you compare a “young” brand in the US to a “young” brand in the UK, you’ll see that the American brand has a much higher turnover and sales. That’s because the country is bigger and there are more people to buy things. Sure, London has some great retailers (which sell a lot of international brands) and amazing high street stores. But fast fashion does not make a world fashion capital.
5. And lastly, the main reason why London is not the world’s fashion capital is because Paris is the world’s fashion capital. Haute Couture, Chanel, Dior, Hermes, etc… are all part of French fashion and they still rule the fashion world. Plus, in recent years French people have started to dress trendily on the street, so they are giving the Londoners some competition. Sorry, but there is no argument here. I don’t care what Global Language Monitor or Twitter says, they have it wrong. Paris is the centre of the fashion world.