London's Fashion Industry

London is one of the leading cities in the fashion world, and somewhere around half of the specialist fashion design jobs in the United Kingdom are located in and around the city of London. In fact, around 46,400 people are currently employed by the fashion industry in London in some way or another.

Many of the leading fashion designers and companies are located in the Knightsbridge district of the city, while others can be found in areas such as South Kensington and Chelsea. London is home to a large number of internationally renowned designers, including Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik.

Each year, the city hosts one of the most famous fashion events in the world, namely London Fashion Week. This event usually takes place in September and is held over six days. In 2011, London Fashion Week featured 37 presentations and 68 spectacular catwalk shows. More than 200 accessory designers took part in London Fashion Week, as well as a whole host of both British and international fashion designers. More than 5,000 people usually attend the event, including buyers, television and radio crews, photographers and journalists. According to the BFC Value of Fashion Report, the direct value generated by the London Fashion Week event is estimated to be around £21 billion.

The Clothes Show London is another prominent annual fashion event that is held in London. This event is typically held at the famous Carnaby Street shopping area of Westminster and features more than 20 new designers. This event showcases the work of designers who are on the verge of making their big break in the world of fashion and is an important source of revenue for London's fashion industry, as it attracts attention from buyers from all over the world.

Notable London Designers

Vivienne Westwood is one of the biggest names in the London fashion industry. She is mainly associated with bringing modern punk fashions to the attention of the mainstream public. Vivienne Westwood's career as a fashion designer started in the early 1970s, when she opened a boutique on 430 Kings Road with former partner Malcolm McLaren called Let it Rock. Although the first collections displayed in the shop were 1950s style Teddy Boy clothing, it was not long before Westwood moved into the more popular bondage and punk style clothing for which she became famous. The collections proved to be a huge hit, especially as they were marketed through punk bands such as The Sex Pistols. I981 saw a new transformation in the collection, as this is when the Pirate Collection was released with Vivienne Westwood's first ever catwalk show. Since then, Vivienne Westwood has gone from strength to strength and now has three exclusively-owned shops in London, as well as major outlets all over the world.

Stella McCartney is another London designer that has taken the fashion world by storm. She is best known for her sharp tailoring that combines femininity with natural confidence, and was a huge hit right from the launch of her very first collection. After just a few years of working as a fashion director, Stella McCartney launched her own fashion house and has won many design awards for her work both in Britain and the rest of the world. Another notable quality of this British designer is that she continually evolves and transforms her collections, including branching out into the world of children's fashion.