It's shocking to think that English menswear, famed for its Savile Row tailoring, is just now getting a dedicated menswear week. The London mens' shows have traditionally been squeezed in on the last day of London fashion week, which was one of the factors in the scheduling debate between New York, London, Milan and Paris. Because that day coincided with the first day of Milan's women's shows, the London guys often got the shaft in terms of editor attendance. Starting in June 2012, that's going to change.
London's fashion profile has never been higher thanks to designers like Mary Katrantzou and Burberry's meteoric popularity, not to mention Duchess Kate and her fondness for Sarah Burton at McQueen, and now the men are finally getting their day in the sun. The British Fashion Council (BFC) announced via a release over the weekend that "London Collections: Men" will launch June 1-17, 2012 as a three day showcase. This timing means that it will kick off the current menswear show schedule--Milan and Paris will follow.
And some high-profile (and dapper) men have signed on to support the initiative, like Tom Ford, Christopher Bailey, David Furnish (yes, Elton's hubby), Simon Fuller, and Tim Blanks. Selfridges, MR PORTER, Style.com, GQ, and Topman will also have reps on the committee.
And it won't be just about the clothes--there's a cultural component, too. Harold Tillman, the Chairman of the BFC said via the release:
“The menswear industry has been growing from strength to strength in past years and this is true testament to this, London Collections: Men will not only be a showcase for brands and designers but will form a cross cultural programme creating a festival for Menswear in what will be a truly exciting year for the UK."
A festival of men? We're booking our tickets in advance.