London Fashion Week sees merging of high end and high street

London Fashion Week used to mean very little to the ‘ordinary’ shopper or anybody beyond the most ardent reader of Vogue. However, following February’s event, this looks set to change. High street brands gained a new prominence and announced the fact that everyone can get involved. ABA’s 5Drivers model reveals which retailers did this and how…

Offering the #Freedom to shop high-end

Launching their own premium lines during the event, several high street brands gave shoppers the freedom to wear ‘runway’ styles at a fraction of the usual cost. With Jigsaw and Topshop showcasing these on the catwalk, shoppers could enjoy getting something truly exclusive. Live feeds of these shows made viewers feel like front-row invitees, and the ability to ‘see now buy now’ played to the growing desire for instantaneous shopping.

Other brands adopted a similar yet softer approach. River Island’s collaboration with artist Margot Bowman again gave everyday shoppers a taste of high-end fashion; this time conjured by distinctive graphics. Similarly, Debenhams celebrated the labels they already house by using Henry Holland’s catwalk photos to convey a sense of luxury.

No matter the level of hype, this move was undoubtedly a win-win. Firstly, it allowed high street shoppers to buy into premium territory. Secondly, it boosted high street brands’ fashion credentials by letting them bask in the glow of the most prestigious names in the world.

Ensuring all #Belong in every aspect of the event

Other brands took a different stance by focusing beyond all things high-end and ensuring the event was truly inclusive; an exciting ‘club’ that all could feel part of. References to #LFW featured in comms more than ever this year – affording front-row style tips and a sneak peek at what the event would include.

New Look’s video entitled ‘fashion week in real life’ captured the essence of this - focussing less on actual catwalk fashion and more on relatable style. This move was echoed by H&M’s street photography and Next’s ‘what we wore’ tips.

This sense of inclusivity was strengthened by an accent on the social side of LFW. New Look gave the inside track on event-related parties and Topshop had the latest on where to find the best hang-out spots.

So, whether emphasising luxury or just encouraging involvement in the LFW lifestyle, high street brands made sure this year’s event was not only the preserve of designers. Runway to retail has well and truly taken on a whole new meaning.


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