London, as we all know it, is living to its title as the city of love. It is also popular in the world of fashion because of its global influence in the clothing industry. Thus, it is tagged as the “fashionista” city.
You cannot deny that London is also host to some of the world’s popular designers, entertainers, and artists. And because of its strong leadership role in the world of fashion, London is home to different design schools and creative magazines for vibrant and passionate fashion enthusiasts. Like any “fashion” capital, London has hosted popular fashion weeks to showcase the latest design trends in the fashion industry.
Before London’s “fashion city” tag, London has been perceived by many as the world’s famous destination of fashion design schools and designers. This fashionista city has produced world-class fashion designers since it embraced the most prominent and world’s creative and energetic fashion industry. And London will not be known as it is today if not for Vivienne Westwood as well Mary Quant whose names are known to be the most iconic fashion stars.
Empowered by its creativity and lust for fashion, London will continue to be relevant in the global fashion industry with the help of its diverse group of people composed of designers, innovators, models, among others.
Aside from McQueen, Quant, Westwood, Davidson, there are also other names of fashion designers who are known today because of their contribution to the billion worth fashion industry.
We’ve curated a list of famous fashion designers who started their careers in London.
This designer is the brain behind the creation of “miniskirt” whose fashion contribution was immortalized by the fashion industry. Quant was born in 1934 in London, and she began her career as a fashion designer in the 1950s when she manufactured her own clothing lines. Unknown to many, Quant studied in a school of art and from there, she explored the idea of designing clothes. Quant was known as one of the fashion designers who embraced a contemporary philosophy. Meaning, Quant wants fashion to be accessible to all, especially to the younger generation. To execute her fashion philosophy, Quant opened in 1955, her first fashion boutique called Bazaar that made a good stride in the fashion industry.
At the core of the J&M Davidson success story in the fashion industry is both adventure and freedom. J&M Davidson has been known for producing fashion style that vibrantly illustrates femininity, fun, and quality. The iconic duo’s fashion heritage can be glanced back from its humble beginnings in 1984 when it publicly opened its first fashion store in Notting Hill. Both John and Monique Davidson started their fashion company by selling only various leather belts. From there, they began to create an impact in the fashion industry by embracing London’s vibrant and enthusiastic fashion spirit. To date, J&M Davidson has produced several fashion collections that show a strong brand of leadership, luxury, and eclectic style.
Another famous London-based fashion designer that made a significant contribution to the fashion industry is Vivienne Westwood. Her iconic fashion style was a product of her opposition to the fashion styles popularized in the 70s. It can be recalled that the fashion styles in the 70s were dominated by the usual touch of both floras and flares. To show her opposition, Westwood introduced a fashion style using zip and safety pins. Her brand of style was received with mixed reactions from the fashion world.
Westwood started her fashion career when she opened her fashion store in King’s Road back in 1971. This was her first business venture together with Malcolm McLaren, Westwood’s partner. Their fashion shop was named “Let It Rock” and the primary target of the shop as its target market was London’s teddy boys. It is essential to highlight, however, that in the ensuing years, Westwood’s shop went through some dynamic changes as evidence in the decor style and name. Many believe that this was the effect of London’s prevailing trends, social norms, and cultures in that period. In 1974, Westwood’s shop was rebranded as “Sex Pistols” as influenced by the London’s music and sex industries.
He’s known to be London’s most popular and influential designer. Born in 1969, Alexander McQueen cemented his name in London to be known after as one of the iconic legends in the world of fashion. McQueen was known for his loud and shocking fashion style that’s still relevant until today. For McQueen, London was very intimate to him. It was in the city of London where his legendary and iconic fashion style was shaped by his experience when he worked— as early as 16 years old— as an apprentice at Savile Row Tailors. McQueen had also stayed in the city of Milan, but he returned to London to finish his postgraduate studies in Central Saint Martins.
It was at Central Saint Martins when Isabella Blow, a popular fashion stylist, discovered McQueen’s high taste in fashion after Blow saw his collections. Those who are loyal to McQueen’s sense of fashion claimed that his fashion style was heavily influenced by his experience at Savile Row. British tailoring style was evident in McQueen’s creative designs that promote elegance, celebrates individuality, and honors time-tested British craftsmanship.
In gist, London inspires young designers, models, fashion stylists to excel and survive in the global fashion industry. To sustain such inspiration, a council was established back in 1993 where it’s called today as the British Fashion Council. The BFC today strives hard to provide continued growth for the British fashion industry. The council also aims to empower London’s leading global fashion brands to keep them sustainable amid the challenges prevailing in an ever-changing and dynamic fashion economy.
For some budding fashion enthusiasts, the city of London is their beacon of hope. London has the potential to provide a productive and conducive avenue where young creative designers are schooled to create a distinctly unique brand of fashion.
It is a real privilege and pleasure to be able to see this fashion show closely as you will get a real sense of what they really portray. Nevertheless, while taking a walking tour in London streets, you can also see the way people are dressed and notice the actual fashion trends. Other cities known to hold similar fashion shows were Paris, Milan, and as far as New York—collectively called the Big 4 Fashion City Capital.
London has cemented its name in the global fashion industry. It is the birthplace of miniskirts, trousers, three-piece suit, and other contemporary women and men’s wear.