Following the success of its involvement in London Fashion Week Men’s, St James’s will play host to events during London Fashion Week’s 65th season and will be once again in the spotlight. Following his selection by the British Fashion Council as “One to Watch”, designer Michael Halpern will hold the debut presentation of his brand, Halpern, during London Fashion Week in the heart of St James’s this weekend. Prepping to show on Regent Street St James’s Halpern commented “I am thrilled to be able to show my collection in St James’s this season. The space is spectacular and being in the setting of an area iconic for fashion, makes it even more perfect for our first fashion week presentation.”
In late 2016 British brand Jigsaw opened their St James’s Emporium concept store. During LFW the brand will showcase their A by Jigsaw range in St James’s Market. Peter Ruis, CEO of Jigsaw commented “The feel of the area is a real retail revolution and it felt right to hold our LFW event here and highlight not just our own brand but recognise that St. James’s Market is in itself located in an iconic part of London that is synonymous with British style, craftsmanship and luxury.”
The appearance of St James’s venues on the fashion calendar follows similar activity during London Fashion Week Men’s and prompted Caroline Rush, Chairman of the British Fashion Council, to observe “Womenswear and the new retail offering in St James’s goes from strength to strength. With the arrival of Dover Street Market and with Jigsaw and Halpern showing in St James’s Market, I can see the area becoming as important to women’s fashion as it is to menswear.”
Recent contemporary retail brand arrivals include Norwegian Rain, Tiger of Sweden, John Smedley and Wonderland magazine pop-up store. Style-mecca Dover Street Market relocated from Mayfair to St James’s in March 2016, cementing St James’s appeal to contemporary consumers. As the beneficiary of a £500million redevelopment programme and concerted effort by The Crown Estate to bring international contemporary brands into the area, St James’s is becoming a go-to location for retailers, designer and consumers alike.
With the womenswear market forecast to grow by 23% to reach £32billion by 2020 the importance of the fashion industry to the UK economy is clear. St James’s Portfolio Manager Anthea Harries commented “New consumers are being drawn into the area by our eclectic retail mix. The last 18 months have seen us implement a strategy to bring in contemporary brands to sit beside established heritage brands in St James’s. Hosting pop-up stores and opening up space to designers during LFW means we have helped a fresh audience discover the area.”