The three-day parade of shows kicks off with a new name, Topman, but with the same quirky and classic fun. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: London kicked off its menswear fashion week on Friday (January 06) with a new name and plenty of the quirky and classic for male wardrobes as the city seeks to maintain its status as a hub for creativity despite uncertainty over Britain's exit from the European Union. Launched in 2012 as a three-day catwalk calendar event, London Collections: Men has now been rebranded London Fashion Week Men's, lasting four days. Unlike its other fashion capital counterparts Paris, Milan and New York, London, known for its established tailors, has fewer major brands showcasing during men's fashion week, with more emerging talent presenting creations. "The point of difference in London is that you have a real wealth of young, creative talent matched with these established, heritage businesses," Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council (BFC), told Reuters, adding men's fashion week had seen an "organic growth" since its launch. However in an industry that trades with Europe, there is uncertainty over the future after Britons last June voted to leave the European Union. A BFC survey ahead of the referendum revealed more than 90 percent of 290 designers wanted to remain in the bloc. "We've got to abide by the results and make sure Brexit works for the fashion industry and for our country too," London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who campaigned for Britain to remain a member of the EU, told Reuters at the fashion week launch. "The concerns the fashion industry has, they want to make sure we can continue to attract talent." Among the first brands presenting on Friday was highstreet label Topman Design, which looked to the 1990s "pubbing and clubbing scene" for a collection of loose sweaters with logos, fringed tops, neon coloured jackets and wide-leg jeans. Models wore high-waisted trousers with check print jackets, sports shoes and a single dangly earring. According to figures quoted by the BFC, the men's clothing market grew by 4.1 percent to 14.1 billion pounds ($17.36 billion) in 2015, with menswear accounting for 25 percent of the total clothing market. During the event, some brands, such as Vivienne Westwood, will present womenswear together with menswear. An increasing number of designers are opting for mixed-gender catwalk shows. However many, including luxury label Burberry, are doing so during the bigger biannual women's fashion weeks, leading some to question the future of separate menswear events. "I think as an industry we're really open to change but it's understanding what works collectively as a whole," Rush said. "Certainly the men's market is incredibly strong, the womenswear market is incredibly strong and as it stands at the moment there is a definite validity to have two very strong fashion weeks."