1. The inaugural London Fashion Week took place in 1984 in a west London car park. Organised by Annette Worsley-Taylor, the event was staged inside white tents beside the Commonwealth Institute in Kensington.
2. The 1986 LFW saw both the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and Diana, Princess of Wales, in attendance.
3. The recession in 1992 meant that only a few handpicked designers were chosen to present their collections in rooms at the Ritz. The event was re-invigorated when it moved to the Natural History Museum a year later.
4. Stella McCartney triumphed during LFW in 1995, with her entire collection selling out after her spring/summer show. Even more spectacular, McCartney was still a student at the time.
5. In 2006, the British Fashion Council (BFC) began incorporating ethical fashion showcase Estethica into The Exhibition at London Fashion Week. At LFW autumn/winter 2013, Estethica had showed for 14 consecutive seasons – it is now the fashion industry’s leading promoter of sustainable fashion.
6. This September, London’s premier shopping hub, Oxford Street, will be lined with 75 fashion flags, each celebrating the contribution of key British designers to London’s fashion scene.
7. LFW is known for its support of the blogging community. Some 2,000 bloggers registered for accreditation last season, and this figure is predicted to rise to 3,000 by September 2014.
8. The BFC is opening its first boutique during this season’s LFW. Concept store The Shop will showcase the best of British contemporary fashion, featuring pieces by eight of London’s cutting-edge design talents, including Bella Freud, House of Holland, Prism, Zoë Jordan and Markus Lupfer. The Shop will open on 13 September, in conjunction with the start of LFW.
9. The direct value of the fashion industry to the UK economy is a massive £21bn. The UK fashion industry has also been identified as the largest employer of all the creative industries, and supports an estimated 816,000 jobs.
10. Natalie Massenet, chair of the BFC and founder of Net-A-Porter, recently wrote an open letter to Londoners, published in the Evening Standard newspaper, asking the city’s inhabitants to ‘dress up’ for this season’s London Fashion Week to help ‘grow our brands, stimulate exports, create new jobs and generally make [London] a must-visit city’. The Global Blue team will certainly be following her advice.