The International Fashion Showcase was established in the year of the London Olympics as a platform for emerging fashion designers to exhibit their work during London Fashion Week as a competition that shares the same values of the Olympics; fraternity, respect, equality and excellence.
Since 2012, more than 600 of the most exciting international designers from 70 countries have exhibited in the International Fashion Showcase. It reflects London’s reputation for promoting and supporting new talent in the creative industries by providing opportunities for designers from overseas to engage with the UK fashion community and build international connections.The biennial fashion presentation is a partnership between the British Council, British Fashion Council, London College of Fashion, UAL and Somerset House.
For London Fashion Week this February, the showcase has a new format. For the first time, 16 selected designers representing 16 countries from across the globe will showcase a series of compelling installations to represent their respective country. The designers will explore politics, sustainability, identity and heritage and show their latest designs in immersive environments.
An exciting addition to the showcase is British Bangladeshi menswear designer Rahemur Rahman. Rahemur is a graduate of Central Saint Martins, and worked with Bangladeshi fair trade organisation Aranya and their network of artisans to develop his collection, which will be presented in an installation that evokes his British Bangladeshi upbringing. In this body of work he will not only visually challenge fashion conventions but use this platform to participate in conversations about sustainability, inclusivity, and diversity.
In another first, these designers have been supported through a bespoke online programme, developed by London College of Fashion, UAL, which will cover all aspects of business development from branding to sales and production to sustainability. They also travelled to London in August 2018 to attend a two-week talent development programme. This tailored cultural residency and business skills training will give the emerging designers the professional support that is often difficult to access, provided by some of the UK’s leading fashion and creative experts.
Sarah Mower MBE British Fashion Council Ambassador for Emerging Talent and Chief Critic at Vogue.com, said: “As vast, daunting and digitally-driven as the fashion industry can be, the most vital, exciting ideas often originate from self-expression and personal relationships. This year, by inviting the 16 emerging designers to London for a summer residency, the International Fashion Showcase took the principle of fostering personal exchange and interaction to the next level. The results of the experience were unexpectedly electric for all involved. Put simply, the knowledge, eye-opening conversations and creative energy sparked in all directions across the group.”