In April, it was announced that London Fashion Week would be relocating to Soho, and Brewer Street Car Park to be exact. Following six consecutive years at Somerset House, this came as a surprise to many, but, while it's a bold move, I feel it's a very clever one. Labelled by some as the 'Fashion Park', the multi-storey set to play host this month is actually an iconic art deco building from 1929, with a rich history of its own.
The British Fashion Council says it has always been their goal to host LFW in the West End, describing the area as 'an epicentre for a city-wide fashion celebration with close proximity to major retail spaces' (http://www.londonfashionweek.co.uk/news/717/London-Fashion-Week-moves-to-S).
According to the BFC, this more central location will help boost support for the fashion industry, which employs nearly 800,000 people and is worth £26bn in the UK alone. From an events perspective, the BFC has been tasked with catering for the very best international fashion talent and accommodating the global press, industry buyers, bloggers, photographers and fans flocking from around the world, so the pressure is very much on.
LFW SS16 will need to pull out all the stops to make this the best event yet, and prove that this new venue is not just an ample replacement to Somerset House, the event's previous home. In Brewer Street Car Park, the organisers have an event space already proven in hosting successful events, but also one with a lot of potential.
In March, London Fashion Week announced a deal with new principal sponsor Sunglass Hut, which will span the next three years of the biannual event. We'll be looking after the design and production of the Press and Buyers Lounge for Sunglass Hut - part of the Luxottica Group, which also produces eyewear for brands such as Ray-Ban, Chanel, and Burberry - and also creating an industry tea party celebration, to be hosted by Georgia May Jagger in another new venue for LFW, separate to Brewer Street Car Park.
But an event like this is not just about each show - it should be an all-encompassing experience from the moment visitors set foot in the venue to the moment they leave. The experience of how the event flows - and this includes the logistics of the catwalk - will stay with people for a long time, and it's here that the event planners need to excel to leave a positive lasting impression which ensures the venue's reputation is upheld for the long term. In that sense, it's as much a PR exercise for the venue as it is for the brands in attendance.
Expectations from the press and consumers will be extremely high, and people can be quick to criticise something new. At the heart of the event will be a management team striving to deliver a memorable overall experience for every single guest.
A new setting brings new demands and expectations, so there is certainly an extra layer of suspense around this year's event. The buzz around London Fashion Week increases every year, a clear sign of the creative and commercial importance of British fashion.
With a schedule designed to showcase the world's most innovative emerging talents, heritage tailors and global brands, it's no surprise excitement is rife, and we're very excited to see how it unfolds.