London Fashion Week Men's AW19 kicks off

Twice a year the British Fashion Council shows the very best of British menswear to national and international audiences. Now in its 13th edition, London Fashion Week Men’s (LFWM) launches today with over 40 designers showing their collections via catwalk presentations, films, showrooms and events.

A dark cloud hung over the first day of LFWM, with many in the industry mourning the passing of designer Joe Caseley-Hayford OBE, who died on Friday after a three-year battle with cancer. His fashion label, Caseley-Hayford, a partnership with his son Charlie, only recently opened a store on Chiltern Street.

London Fashion Week Men's AW19 kicks off

Photo: Justin Tallis / AFP

Fashion at its most diverse

While the uncertainty of Brexit remains a key topic amongst fashion businesses, this edition of LFWM will be one of its most diverse, with over 25 percent of its on-schedule designers originating from outside of the UK. With London being one of Europe's most culturally rich cities, British fashion has long inspired international designers and brands, drawing talent from all around the world.

One of the most interesting initiatives to come from the British Fashion Council in recent years is their Positive Fashion initiative, a platform designed to promote and celebrate diversity, sustainability and openness; encouraging fashion to be used as a platform to promote a global positive change #PositiveFashion.

Investing in the creative sector will reap future rewards for London, as according to government statistics, the sector is growing faster than any other in the UK economy and provides one in six jobs in the capitol.

A new season, a new LFWM hub

January fashion week marks the new official space of LFWM, which will see the three-day hosted in the East End's infamous Truman Brewery.

Highlights of the week will be catwalk shows by A-COLD-WALL and Craig Green, who both show on the final day.

The place to discover new talent will be at NEWGEN, with Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Liam Hodges and Bianca Saunders names to watch. A new experiential space called the DiscoveryLAB will host presentations from Lou Dalton, Phoebe English and St. Henri.

Largely absent from the men's calendar are British heritage brands like Burberry and Gieves, the craft of Savile Row tailors and contemporary brands like Alexander McQueen and J.W. Anderson. As more companies are merging their men's and women's collections, like Bottega Veneta, Burberry and Celine, with just one show a season, the men's schedule has been noticeably empty. Let's hope all the emerging names will be enough of a draw.

Image: FashionUnited, Danielle Wightman-Stone