Written by Katie Finn • Published 21st February 2012

Image Courtesy of Marc Knight, Germany, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of Marc Knight, Germany, flickr.com

London Fashion Week, together with New York, Milan and Paris, is one of the ‘big 4’ fashion weeks in the world showcasing twice a year in September and February. With the February AW12 shows now upon us we look back at a history of London’s top fashion event.






London Fashion Week (LFW) is born. The event is produced by the London Fashion Council who put large white tents outside the Commonwealth Institute in Kensington. A diverse group of designers are showcased including an explosion into the fashion scene by young designer John Galliano.


British government agrees to sponsor LFW after support from UK Vogue and a flurry of designers.


Vogue editor Anna Wintour arrives on the front row.


Kate Moss heads down the runway for the first time, in Galliano, aged just 15.


Recession causes LFW to downsize to showcasing designers in a few rooms in the Ritz. Alexander McQueen showcases his first collection.


British model Naomi Campbell walks down the runway topless for the Phillip Treacey Show.


Stella McCartney shows her debut collection with Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell as models. Her line is a huge success


Size 14 model Sophie Dahl makes her runway debut sparking a debate about the link between the fashion industry and anorexia. Several initiatives are designed to promote a healthy body image, for example, the Model Health Enquiry.


British talent is snapped up by Paris fashion houses including Alexander McQueen for Givenchy and Stella McCartney for Chloe causing LFW to suffer.


Victoria Beckham appears on the runway for the first time wearing Maria Grachvogel hotpants.


Post 9-11 less and less American designers want to travel to London draining more from fashion week.


Topshop makes history as the first high street store showcasing at LFW.


A vibrant new phase of designers is showcased including Gareth Pugh and new star – Christopher Kane.


LFW is revitalised and moves back to Somerset House.


London fashion week is the first major fashion event to fully embrace the internet with the shows broadcast to the world.