The dust may have barely settled on the biannual London Fashion Week, but that doesn’t mean British brands are taking anything less than a leading role in the industry.
Those with a keen sense of style and a strong sense of patriotism can easily combine the two and wear British brands while still sampling the finest luxury the fashion world has to offer. So, how do you know what to look out for when poring over the items on FT How To Spend It, for example? We’ve all heard of Mulberry and Burberry et al, but what about the pool of talent beyond that?
Here’s our guide to six luxury fashion brands that it’s worth investing in for your wardrobe…
LK Bennett: A big favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, LK Bennett’s shoes have won countless awards and accolades. Their creator, Linda Kristin Bennett, set up her first shop in Wimbledon and earned her formidable reputation by managing to combine comfort and glamour. It’s a combination that earned her the moniker ‘Queen of the Kitten Heel’. There are now about 150 branches worldwide of this London-based success story.
JW Anderson: Northern Irishman Jonathan Anderson earned a cult following for his ‘cross-pollination’ menswear and womenswear and his brand is one of London’s most innovative in years. JW Anderson has scooped British Fashion Awards for ‘Emerging Talent, Ready-to-Wear’ (2012), ‘The New Establishment Award’ (2013) and ‘Menswear Designer of the Year’ (2014). Those promising beginnings should only blossom into further success after a recent investment by LVMH Moët Hennessy while Anderson himself also acts as creative director for Loewe.
Christopher Kane: Anderson’s investment came at a similar time as French group Kering – owner of Gucci and Saint Laurent – chose to snap up young British fashion designer Christopher Kane. The 33-year-old Scot established his label in 2006 and has thrived in a career that has brought brushes with celebrities and collaborations with Versace. His chic and personal designs can still be snapped up at his flagship store in Mayfair.
Peter Pilotto: The vibrant digital prints and luxury womenswear of Peter Pilotto have become a big London success story. It might seem odd since it is the brainchild of an Austrian/Italian and Peruvian/Belgian but, as ever, the nation’s capital has proved a melting pot to make the best of the world’s cultures. Awards and international success have followed.
Sophia Webster: The up-and-coming luxury shoe designer is another talented Brit with a big future. A glittering academic career has been backed up by commercial success since first bursting onto the scene in the past few years. She launched her first pop-up shop in Burlington Arcade in the summer of 2013 and it was so successful that the second soon followed in Covent Garden. Her shoe collections – including the Butterfly range – have expanded to include a wide range of styles, with Flamingo detail now a famous part of her style. She launched a bridal collection earlier in 2015.
Preen: Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi’s Preen offers a modern Victoriana style first forged in a standalone shop in Notting Hill in the late 90s. Preen is known for using antique fabrics and accessories and combining them into urbanwear.