by Stephen Garner

The 12th edition of London Fashion Week Men’s (LFWM) opened on Friday as a celebration of discovery and the creative diversity that has made London an international hub for menswear.

The bi-annual showcase of the most creative and innovative names in the British fashion industry takes place throughout the city from Friday, June 8 – Monday, June 11 and features over 50 designer businesses and welcomes guests from over 45 countries. Since the inception of a dedicated Menswear fashion showcase in London in June 2012 over 430 designer brands have been part of over 750 catwalk shows, presentations, performances and events.

LFWM brings together an international audience of global media and retailers supported by industry creatives, collaborators, brands and businesses from China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the U.S. and U.K. to convene at the creative hub of The Store Studios, 180 Strand to witness catwalk shows, experiential activations, pop up shops and performances from alternative hip hop to classic tailoring and previews of collections from international design houses and award winning British designers.

London is one of the most culturally rich cities on the planet with world-class institutions and globally renowned talent and LFWM celebrates the diversity of our capital through an industry that directly contributes £29.7billion to the U.K. in GDP and employs 850,000 people (Oxford Economics 2017) while the city’s creative economy now employs 1 in 6 Londoners and contributes £47billion to the economy ( 2018).

The British Fashion Council has also announced new data from Mintel on the U.K. menswear fashion industry on Friday. The data stated that the men’s clothing market grew by an estimated 3.5 percent in 2017 to reach £15 billion. Menswear now accounts for 26 percent of the total clothing market; menswear sales continue to outperform womenswear. Menswear is also predicted to grow by 11 percent between 2018 and 2022 to reach £17.1 billion.

This season the LFWM schedule pays homage to the ever-expanding creativity of the capital through a packed schedule of shows, presentations, installations and events, launching with Iceberg who present their catwalk show on Friday evening followed on Saturday by Daniel w. Fletcher’s runway show.

The British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN initiative offers financial support and mentoring to the most talented emerging designers to showcase their June 2018 collections at LFWM and includes A-Cold Wall*, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Kiko Kostadinov, Liam Hodges, Per Götesson, Phoebe English, and ones to watch Bianca Saunders and Paria / Farzaneh.

Internationally-celebrated designers Alex Mullins, Berthold, Blindness, Cottweiler, Edward Crutchley, Man, Matthew Miller, Pronounce, Sharan Wauchob, and Qasimi will once again all hold catwalk shows; Astrid Andersen, Ben Sherman, Bethany Williams, E.Tautz, John Lawrence Sullivan, Michiko Koshino, Nicholas Daley, and Wood Wood will return with presentations. Global brands Barbour, Chalayan, Kent & Curwen, Lou Dalton, Martine Rose, Oliver Spencer, What We Wear, and Xander Zhou present their new collections, alongside new brands to the schedule Private Policy & Staff Only Presented by GQ China, Blindness direct from Seoul Fashion Week, C2H4, Sharon Wauchob x Norton & Sons.

And, DiscoveryLAB, an experiential zone for thinkers, makers, explorers and innovators merges the landscape of technology, fashion, art and performance and includes an opening multimedia presentation from CV22 – Rugby – England, collection showcases from 3. Paradis and Pony, JordanLuca and Danshan plus movement-based choreographed performances by KA WA KEY, live performances by Arts collective NiNE8 and a 10th anniversary celebration from Mr. Start.