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London Designers Seek, and Find, New Business at First Milan Event

·2 min read

SHOWING OFF: A clutch of brands decamped to Milan for the first time to take part in the London Show Rooms event, and said business was brisk, considering the post-COVID-19 circumstances. London Show Rooms usually takes place in Paris, but the British Fashion Council decided to make a change this season and take 11 brands to the Italian trade show White Milano, which took place at Superstudio Più on Via Tortona.

Palmer Harding was one of the brands taking part, and Levi Palmer said sales during the showcase were robust thanks to new customers previously unfamiliar with the brand. He said Palmer Harding is evolving, too.

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“We ditched safety — because everybody wants to see and buy something new,” he said, adding that the brand did keep its signature cotton tailored shirts. Manufacturing is done in Portugal and the brand is looking to ramp up distribution from Europe, post-Brexit.

Vicky Chung of the jewelry brand Completedworks said Milan Show Rooms was a chance to “see people in person and reconnect” after nearly two years of lockdowns. She was showing off designs by the brand’s creative director Anna Jewsbury made from recycled silver, glass and biodegradable resin.

The organic jewels were covered in 14-karat gold and some featured bright green resin stones, with prices starting at 125 pounds.

Duran Lantink took part, too, showing off his hybrid luxury creations and hoping to expand his business to the east coast of the U.S. He already does business with H. Lorenzo on the west coast.

Lantink specializes in dismantling old-season designer inventory and whipping it into entirely new pieces. He has been nominated for the LVMH Prize and been given the key to the Browns’ warehouse in London to upcycle unsold inventory for special capsules.

He has helped brands such as Ellery upcycle old stock during lockdown, instead of producing new collections, and has created custom pieces for the likes of Billie Eilish and Janelle Monáe.

London Show Rooms has been going since 2008 with the aim of supporting business growth opportunities for emerging designers. Among the other designers who took part in the Milan showcase were Ahluwalia, Edward Crutchley, Saul Nash and Jordanluca.

Caroline Rush, chief executive officer of the BFC, said the organization “is committed to strengthening British fashion in the global economy, and being able to support designer businesses sell their collections in Milan has been fantastic. British fashion talents are known for their creativity, innovation and responsible business, and London produces some of the most exciting designers in the world. This new partnership helped them reach new audiences, and gave them the opportunity to meet a great number of buyers.”

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