London Fashion Week biannual update; external evaluation

John Robertson made this Freedom of Information request to London Development Agency

The request was successful.

From: John Robertson

2 November 2009

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please provide the latest biannual update provided to the London
Development Agency by the British Fashion Council as a formal
report, covering LDA funding of London Fashion Week.

Please provide the most recent externally commissioned impact
evaluation that has been completed.

Yours faithfully,

John Robertson

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From: Sophie Dimmock
London Development Agency

2 November 2009


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Dear Mr Robertson,

Please find attached a scanned letter acknowledging your request for
information under the Freedom of Information Act.
Regards,

Sophie Dimmock

Public Affairs Executive
020 7593 8581 [1][email address]

London Development Agency
Palestra
197 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8AA

Switchboard: 020 7593 8000 

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From: John Robertson

1 December 2009

Dear Sophie Dimmock,
Just a reminder that the deadline for Freedom of Information Act
request 437 is today -
"Please provide the latest biannual update provided to the London
Development Agency by the British Fashion Council as a formal
report, covering LDA funding of London Fashion Week.

Please provide the most recent externally commissioned impact
evaluation that has been completed."
regards,
John Robertson

Link to this

From: Sophie Dimmock
London Development Agency

1 December 2009

Dear Mr Robertson,

Thank you for your email below. Due to circumstances beyond our control we
are unable to complete final sign off of the response until tomorrow,
02/12/09.

Please accept our apologies for the delay.
Kind regards,
Regards,

Sophie Dimmock

Public Affairs Executive
020 7593 8581 [1][email address]

London Development Agency
Palestra
197 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8AA

Switchboard: 020 7593 8000 

Please consider the environment before printing this email or its
attachments.

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From: John Robertson

1 December 2009

Dear Sophie Dimmock,
Sorry for any unreasonable pressure: I won't ask for an internal
review for another two days (or more if there's a reason to wait).
Have a good night.
John Robertson

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From: Sophie Dimmock
London Development Agency

2 December 2009


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Dear Mr Robertson,
Thank you for your email below and for your patience in receiving our
response. Please find attached a scanned letter and an accompanying
document in response to your request for information.

Kind regards,

Sophie Dimmock

Public Affairs Executive
020 7593 8581 [1][email address]

London Development Agency
Palestra
197 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8AA

Switchboard: 020 7593 8000 

Please consider the environment before printing this email or its
attachments.

<<LDALIVE-#3347668-v1-FOI_437_Scanned_Response.PDF>>
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John Robertson left an annotation (16 December 2009)

Quote-marks Project:
AGREEMENT FOR FUNDING RELATING TO CREATIVE
SECTOR SUPPORT - DESIGNER FASHION Parties: LDA/BFC

Ref: 23300

QUARTERLY REPORT 2008/9: Q3&4 [biannual update]
#######################################################
1. PROJECT OVERVIEW
#######################################################

(a) Headlines
The February 2009 London Fashion Week (LFW) was generally reckoned to have been one of the most successful. "The Season London Shone" wrote US Vogue's Sarah Mower. "Who'd have thought that London would shine at its brightest during a crisis. London's Designers squared up to the fall with an exceptional outflowing of creativity and polish ... that made Fall 2009 this city's most dazzling performance for years."

With economic doom and gloom all around, reports in the London and national press attributed good retail trading figures for February to the positive effect of London Fashion Week. The New West End Company reported that "London Fashion Week is a key contributor to London's economy in terms of direct sales. As the world's number one shopping and fashion destination, the West End really benefited from the fortunes of LFW. Tills began ringing as young shoppers, influenced by the fashion trends, prepared themselves early for the spring seasons."

The announcement during the week that LFW would be moving to Somerset House from September 2009 was warmly welcomed and signifies a step forward not only in the 25 years celebrations of LFW, but also in the development of the event on the international stage. Somerset House is an internationally known cultural site and offers the exciting opportunity for LFW to be housed in a permanent structure in the centre of London.

The February shows also saw the launch of a menswear day, on the final day of LFW. Showing collections from some of the leading emerging menswear designers, this was well attended and received good press coverage. The BFC is exploring the viability of further developing a menswear involvement in LFW.

The London Show Rooms in Paris during Paris Fashion Week provided a key selling opportunity for 16 emerging Designers and were launched by Sarah Mower, with a brunch that was attended by the leading press and buyers, including Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of US Vogue.

In the final quarter of the financial year, the BFC has undergone a re-structure with Simon Ward and Caroline Rush being appointed as Joint Chief Executives. PR activity and exhibition sales and management were brought in-house and provision has been made for a full time, paid commercial manager. This will allow for former Chief Executive, Hilary Riva, to work on the development of new projects, including business support and increasing funding. These changes complete the process of creating a strong and sustainable management team.

Since the completion of the Model Health Action Plan, the Model Programme has been established as a working group to examine issues concerning models' wellbeing. This includes continuing issues surrounding model health, as well as other areas such as the ethic diversity of models on the LFW catwalks.

BFC made two presentations to LDA Board members during March/April to demonstrate the scope, aims and achievements of the project.

(b) Report on London Fashion Week (LFW)

February 2009 was the final LFW to be held at the Natural History Museum, and news of the move to Somerset House, announced by BFC Chairman Harold Tillman before the first LFW show, was extremely well received. A changed layout of the BFC tents on the grounds of the Natural History Museum was also well received. By hosting the exhibition and catwalk shows in the same tent, along with all catering and bar facilities, there was a clear 'buzz' within the venue and footfall in the exhibition was significantly stronger than in previous seasons.

Attendance figures at LFW remain healthy, and the mood upbeat, despite the global economic downturn continuing to affect the number of international buyers able to attend LFW. International press attendance was particularly strong.

Internationally renowned designers Luella and Vivienne Westwood continued to show, and Fashion Forward designers Erdem, Christopher Kane and Marios Schwab attracted a large amount of home and international press coverage following hugely successful shows.

A trial menswear designer day on the final day of LFW saw seven designers showing on the catwalk and installations by four designers.

(c) Press Coverage

Press coverage for LFW was very positive, with many picking up in particular on London's ability to consistently put on professional shows for both established and emerging designers in spite of the burden of the current economic crisis:

"Many collections defied recession doom and gloom and reminded front-row gawkers of all that glitters", Lauren Sozio, Vanity Fair online, February 09.

"The emphasis [at LFW], as Vivienne Westwood put it after her show on Saturday night, was on "hard work and talent" - elements that London has always been renowned for and that are, mercifully, pretty credit-crunch resistant", Lucy Yeomans, the Daily Telegraph, 25th February.

"For all the economic uncertainty, the future for London Fashion Week looks bright", Laura Craik, Evening Standard, 23rd February.

London's position as leader in terms of creativity has also continued:

"The diversity of the catwalks has always been what sets [London] apart...London has demonstrated a strong commitment to innovation and individuality. If one over arching message is to be found, it is one of unwavering creativity". Lena Dystant, JCReport.com, March 09.

Coverage of Fashion Forward designers was widespread and positive, including:

"London's on fire with new talent, and [Erdem's] one of the young designers blazing the way", Style.com, February 2009.

"...recently granted BFC Fashion Forward sponsorship for the second season running, along with fellow it boys Christopher Kane and Marios Schwab, Erdem crafts womenswear that women genuinly want to wear", Anna-Marie Crowhurst, Observer Fashion Supplement, February 2009.

"The young designer [Christopher Kane] created a highly memorable and sure-to-be-loved collection again this season", Rebecca Suhrawardi Austin, US Elle online, February 09.

"[Christopher Kane's show was] one of the most eagerly awaited shows of the weekend", Lucy Yeomans, the Daily Telegraph, 25th February.

"[Marios Schwab's show] was a visual feast...it definitely gets the thumbs-up". Carolyn Asome, The Times, 25th February.

The talent of London's young emerging designers also did not go unnoticed with New Gen designer Mark Fast making a particular impression, featuring in the Guardian's 'What's Hot' section during LFW. Grazia's Melanie Rickey commented "no wonder Browns boutique in London has signed him up to an exclusive deal".

Vivienne Westwood and Luella continued to show in London and both received rave reviews for their shows. With Luella receiving the Designer of the Year Award at the British Fashion Awards in November, her show was given special attention this season:

"Luella is queen of the new old-guard designers", Imogen Fox, Guardian, 21st February.

"another supremely accomplished collection from Bartley", Lucy Yeomans, the Daily Telegraph, 25th February.

Many also felt that the menswear focus was an appropriate showcase for the final day of LFW, as commented in the London Paper:

"...the London menswear scene has grown in profile and importance with each season, and the time was ripe for a dedicated menswear showcase", the London Paper, Carrie Gorman, 26th February.

The impact of London's commitment to making LFW and its designers leaders on the international stage was also felt by the press:

"Of all the four major fashion capitals, London is the most truly international." Laura Craik, Evening Standard, 23rd February.

Value of UK Media Coverage Q3&4 2008/2009

Consumer magazines

£ 1,478,210 Ad value

£ 4,434,630 Media value

Nationals

£ 1,938,385 Ad value

£ 5,815,155 Media value

Regional dailies/weeklies

£ 650,664 Ad value

£ 1,951,992 Media value

Trade and technical

£ 70,316 Ad value

£ 210,948 Media value

February 09

Consumer magazines

£ 1,010,469 Ad value

£ 3,031,407 Media value

Nationals

£ 3,479,694 Ad value

£ 10,439,082 Media value

Regional dailies/weeklies

£ 656,120 Ad value

£ 1,968,360 Media value

Trade and technical

£ 55,332 Ad value

£ 165,996 Media value

January 09

Consumer magazines

£ 1,156,690 Ad value

£ 3,470,070 Media value

Nationals

£ 1,423,400 Ad value

£ 4,270,200 Media value

Regional dailies/weeklies

£108,524 Ad value

£325,572 Media value

Trade and technical

£ 27,727 Ad value

£ 83,181 Media value

December 08

Consumer magazines

£ 581,922 Ad value

£ 1,745,766 Media value

Nationals

£ 837,082 Ad value

£ 2,511,246 Media value

Regional dailies/weeklies

£ 128,925 Ad value

£ 386,775 Media value

Trade and technical

£ 71,352 Ad value

£ 214,056 Media value

TOTAL PRINT

£ 13,674,812 Ad value

£ 41,024,436 Media value

TOTAL BROADCAST (LFW 09)

£ 4,002,448 Media value

[Figures collated from Cision]

(d) Notable project impacts

o Successful identification and securing of Somerset House as a new home for London Fashion Week.

o The strengthening of emerging designers' businesses through the Business Support Programme, including the securing of loans for New Gen designers.

o Communication with colleges continues to grow with the colleges tutor seminar in March being attended by a number of course heads from fashion colleges across the country. This reinforces for tutors that their teaching remains relevant and at the forefront of current fashion/design activity, and also allows messages around model health and design practice to be communicated to the next generation of design talent.

o The London Fashion Showcasing Fund has supported a further three projects this season, with an unprecedented number of applications to the second round of funding in November 2008.

(e) Problems encountered

o Identifying a new venue for London Fashion Week was not achieved in time for LFW February 2009. LFW has now however agreed a move to Somerset House in September 2009.

o The London Fashion Showcasing Fund continues to face problems with the late start of projects. Fashion Fringe was launched just after LFW and therefore had time limitations for agreeing a project specification. Kulture2Couture (K2C) is carrying out a review of its role and activities which has required the drawing up of a brief for a consultant. BFC has met with the K2C project manager twice and been in regular contact to chase the receipt of the brief for agreement and has experienced difficulty in attaining this. A final deadline has now been given and the consequences of missing this deadline with the panel outlined.

For future, any consultancy projects agreed for funding will require stricter timelines and deadlines imposed by the BFC to ensure that requirements can be met on time.

(f) Monitoring

The project continues to be comprehensively monitored by the Project Coordinator.

The BFC is liaising with the LDA to carry out a mid term economic impact evaluation of the project.

(g) Project Beneficiaries

The following groups benefited from support through the grant:

• London based designers participating in LFW and other events in London
• UK and international press & buyers attending LFW
• Fashion industry opinion formers worldwide
• London based event organisers
• London based business support organisations
• London and other UK colleges and universities
• Fashion design students/graduates
• Fashion models and model agencies
• International guest buyers and press

#######################################################
2 DETAILED REPORT
#######################################################

(a) SHOWCASING

(i) Summary of activity

o Luella and Vivienne Westwood who had been supported continued to show at LFW. Media coverage of both has been very positive, including internationally (see above). Luella was also named Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in November 2008.

o Fashion Forward supported Erdem, Christopher Kane and Marios Schwab again this season, all of whom received positive reviews for their shows in the press. Erdem also did a presentation on behalf of the BFC to the LDA on the subject of how the LDA funding he has received to date has supported him in becoming one of the most significant emerging design talents in the UK.

o 10,000 copies of London Fashion Week's newspaper, The LFW Daily, were distributed each day during February's event. This included 6,000 copies distributed through the Evening Standard, 400 each in Oxford Street's H&M and Selfridges stores, and the remaining on site at LFW, LFW's Official hotel, the May Fair, and in LFW venues across London.

An agreement was also made this season for the Daily's editorial team to be based at the May Fair hotel, allowing them to be in the central hub of fashion week activity.

o LFW's international profile was boosted by the appointment of PR companies in Paris and New York which led to significantly increased media coverage in these key cities and also increased press attendance by French and US journalists at LFW

o "Letter from London" was again edited by renowned international journalist Sarah Mower and distributed to 3389 press and buyers prior to LFW.

o Regular e-broadcasts continue to be sent and London Fashion Week TV attracted an unprecedented average of just under 4000 daily unique page views for each day during LFW, thus furthering the communication outreach of LFW.

o LFW's re-location to Somerset House has now been finalised and plans are underway for September 09.

o The London Show Rooms in Paris were supported by LDA funding again this season and proved to be a resounding success. After a launch brunch hosted by Sarah Mower with Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of US Vogue in attendance, the showrooms were attended by 500 visitors from 37 countries. Early indications show that in total the 16 designers secured 149 new accounts.

o There are currently five recipients of London Fashion Showcasing Funding: sustainable fashion events, Estethica and Ethical Fashion Forum; off-schedule fashion shows, On|Off and Vauxhall Fashion Scout; and the LFW scheduled show, Fashion East, which provides a first showcase for the capital's leading emerging designers. Of these, On|Off and Fashion East's current funding is due to end in May. Contracts are due to be signed shortly for two further projects accepted in November.

Fashion East, in particular, through the LDA funding has been able to take on extra part time staff in order to put in place finance and PR systems. The development of its PR led to excellent press coverage for its Designers following the on schedule show during LFW, including a double page spread in leading fashion magazine, Grazia. Fashion East has also been able to extend the reach of its mentoring programme and is currently exploring a partnership with the Centre for Fashion Enterprise to consolidate their offer.

(ii) Variances on plan and agreed changes

1.1 Funding for Fashion Forward continued for a second season (see 2008/9 Q1&2 Report) leading to an additional £47k being spent

1.3 The development of the LFW Daily and appointment of international PRs led to an increased spend of £40k.This was offset by an underspend, totalling £54k, in categories 1.4 (Print communication), 1.5 (e-broadcast) and 1.6 (Annual Fashion Publication). There are no current plans to produce an annual fashion publication.

1.7 An additional £53k was allocated to finding a permanent site for London Fashion Week. This had become of particular urgency, as the contract at the Natural History Museum (NHM) expired after February 2009 and NHM were not prepared to extend the contract for even a further season.

2.1 £21 k additional budget was allocated to supporting emerging Designers at key overseas markets through the London Show Rooms in Paris. This was particularly important at a time of global recession when buyers were restricting their trips.

2.2 There was a £40k underspend on the London Fashion Showcasing Fund with two projects slow to finalise their contracts, as detailed elsewhere in this report. This unspent, although earmarked, funding is being added to the budget for 2009/10.

(b) BUSINESS SUPPORT

(i) Summary of activity

o MA Scholarship student, Nabil El Nayal, is due to complete his first year on the MA womenswear course at the Royal College of Art this June. He will enter his final year in September. Progress is currently underway for applications to open for a second scholarship to be awarded fort he coming academic year.

o For the first time, the BFC Colleges Council held a tutors' seminar in March for course heads from across the member colleges. Requested by the colleges and attended by 37 course heads, the seminar aimed to provide key input across a range of contemporary issues and involved presentations by Erin O'Connor on the subject of model health, Karen Bonser from Topshop, High Street fashion trends, Joseph Velosa (Director, Matthew Williamson) on the business side of high end

Designer fashion, and Orsola de Castro who spoke about sustainable fashion. Recruitment consultants, Smith & Pye, opened proceedings with a presentation on good job application practice. Excellent feedback was received, including Elinor Renfrew of Kingston University who commented that it was a "very worthwhile event", and Julie Pinches from Nottingham Trent University who said that it was "really, really useful".

o Four market intelligence seminars were held during the quarter, which were attended by 26 different designer companies.

o 47 international press and buyers were supported to attend London Fashion Week through the International Guest Support Programme.

o Nine newcomers to the official BFC show schedule (during their first four seasons) were supported with reduced fees.

o Four New Gen designers given free usage of the BFC Tent and all the other New Gen designers were given free inclusion on the official BFC schedule.

o Three menswear shows were given free usage of the BFC tent as part of the new menswear initiative.

o Sarah Mower and Andrew Tucker were again employed to help scouting new talent for LFW.

o Free space was provided in the LFW File for off schedule events Vauxhall Fashion Scout and On|Off, as well as fashion PR company, Blow, which publishes the "off schedule schedule". This enabled 59 emerging designers to be showcased in the File, which is handed to all press and buyers visiting the LFW exhibition.

o All exhibitors at the LFW exhibition (including 45 new exhibitors) benefited from free copies of the list of international press and buyers attending LFW, allowing them to again target key press and buyers.

o Graduate Fashion Week was allocated a free stand at the LFW Exhibition

o 36 designers attended the first time exhibitors' seminar in February, where they were given guidance and advice on setting up and running a stand at LFW, dealing with buyers and press on site and processing orders taken.

o The LFW International Guest Programme, supported jointly by LDA and UKTI, saw 60 key, targeted international press and buyers assisted in their visits to LFW, through flight subsidies and accommodation. These visitors are given welcome packs and are accompanied through their stay as they visit the exhibition, catwalk shows and showrooms. Feedback on media coverage generated and orders placed is collected after their visits.

The Designer Support Manager has established a programme of support for New Gen designers, including a seminar for all New Gen designers and specialist one to one surgeries with key business partners, law firm Shoosmiths, accountancy firm Baker Tilley and Lloyds TSB. The Designer Support Manager has also sat on the steering group for the Centre for fashion Enterprises' manufacturing hub research project. Measuring systems are now being developed to determine growth of sales and job creation through the business support programme. This will allow the BFC to assess the impact of support activities.

The BFC's Accounts Manager has been providing support for Fashion Forward funding recipient Erdem with setting up a system for bookkeeping and providing guidance on how to develop and use this system, with a view to his company becoming self-sustainable in this area. This is a trial and will be monitored for its effectiveness and whether it is a service that can be provided more widely.

Variances on plan and agreed changes

3.2 As reported in 2008/9 Q1&2, £109k of budget originally earmarked for a fashion intern programme has not been utilised as established companies have provided paid placements.

3.3 There was a £16k underspend on market reports as fewer reports than planned were produced.

3.4 The final stage of editing in preparation for the online launch of the updated Designer Fact File will take place over summer 2009, with a view to launch in Autumn 2009. The £50k budget has therefore been moved from 2008/9 to 2009/10

3.5 £120k more than budgeted for 2008/9 was spent on LFW support as funding was allocated to support the International Guest Programme to cover reduced funding from UKTI. Additional funding was also allocated to support New Gen and emerging menswear shows.

3.6 Additional funding continued to be allocated to New Gen business support programme as reported in 2008/9 Q1&2.

(c) INFRASTRUCTURE

(i) Summary of activity

o The BFC website was launched in February 2009 immediately prior to LFW. The website acts as a central point of information on the activities of the BFC, including funding opportunities, details about the BFC and LFW, Colleges Council and other news and events. This has been well-received, and early figures show that there has been a 99% increase in site visitors since its first month, and a 140% increase in page views (from 8,542 to 20,557).

o The BFC has gone through a period of restructuring, with Head of Operations, Simon Ward stepping up to Joint Chief Executive, and external PR director Caroline Rush also being appointed as Joint Chief Executive. Caroline Rush will now be over-seeing the communications area of the BFC, including marketing, PR and sponsorship. Former Chief Executive, Hilary Riva, takes up a role chairing a new BFC Development Committee.

(ii) Variances on plan and agreed changes

4.1 £6k underspend on BFC website, with further stages of development planned for 2009/10

4.2 £14k underspend on BFC Management costs as a Head of Communications had not been appointed. As reported above a Joint CEO was appointed on 1st April to include oversight of the communications side of the business

4.3 £17k underspend on external monitoring with monitoring being carried out in house by the Project Co-ordinator.

The interim evaluation has been deferred whilst a brief is drawn up and agreed between the BFC and the LDA.

(d) MODEL HEALTH

Summary of activity

Following the successful completion of the Model Health Action Plan, the Model Programme has continued to develop. The activities are overseen by a panel comprising the Association of Model Agents (AMA), Equity, the Mayor's Office, the London Development Agency, a representative of the original Model Health Inquiry panel and the BFC. The Model Programme Panel has engaged in the following activities:

o The BFC hosted a second BEAT seminar for model bookers in March, which was well-attended by a cross-section of UK model agencies.

o The development of a set of standard industry Terms and Conditions for catwalk and photo-shoot work. The BFC is consulting with its press committee and designers on the T&Cs before confirming its official endorsement.

o The AMA website was launched in February 2009, in time for London Fashion Week. This offers prospective models advice on the modelling industry, guidance for agencies on how to become an AMA member and sets out the AMA's Code of Practice. There are plans for ongoing further development of the site.

o Equity is currently developing a set of information leaflets for models, in association with Dance UK, who have previously produced a similar product for dancers under their Healthier Dance Programme. These will go through a period of consultation with the Model Programme Panel before publication, which is due later this year.

o The Model Programme Panel has also discussed issues surrounding diversity which have been brought to the BFC's attention (see below). The group is currently gathering information before coordinating a meeting with the key stakeholders in the discussion.

Other activities have continued from the Model Health Action Plan, including:

o The Model Sanctuary - now in its third season, the Model Sanctuary was again held in London Fashion Week official hotel The May Fair in February 09. The number attending has increased by 32% on the previous season, and feedback was very positive. It has now been confirmed that the Sanctuary will again be held at the May Fair in September 09.

o Equity - There are currently 71 models registered as members of Equity.

o London Fashion Week - backstage audits were this season carried out by the BFC Project Co-ordinator, with verification provided by the LDA.

During the first part of 2009, the BFC met with several organisations concerning ethnic diversity amongst the models on the catwalk at London Fashion Week. A campaign was launched by the Mahogany model agency, which represents black and Asian models, leading to the BFC receiving a small number of emails from supporters of the campaign. The BFC responded to each email received, and met with the managing director of Mahogany, who took up an invitation to come to London Fashion Week. The BFC has also met with the managing director of a similar modelling agency, Confidence Models, who had become aware of the campaign and wanted to discuss the issues further, as well as a film company Constant who are making a documentary on the issue. Following these meetings, the BFC reported to the Model Programme Panel, which is currently discussing the possibility of hosting a round-table discussion on the matter, and gathering information ahead of such a meeting.

(ii) Variances on plan and agreed changes

5.2 After consultation with the LDA project manager, the decision was taken that it was appropriate for the BFC to now perform the backstage audits at London Fashion Week, which were previously conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers. This freed up funding towards the Model Programme's information leaflets for models, and the BEAT seminar for model bookers.

#######################################################
3 CASE STUDIES
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• Somerset House

LDA support has assisted in identifying a new home for London Fashion week from September 2009. This follows several years of fruitless searching including an extensive assessment of the viability of Horse Guards Parade which proved to be too expensive a site with too many logistical obstacles for an event like LFW. Help in securing Somerset House has included both personal links and an assessment of the suitability of the site and locality.

• Menswear showcase at London Fashion Week

There has been a growing interest in emerging menswear talent in London for several years, with the MAN show appearing on the LFW schedule for six seasons. Following an approach from the organisers and sponsors of the MAN show, it was agreed to include a half day showcase at the end of LFW in February. LDA support, alongside support from the MAN sponsor, Top Man, enabled three emerging menswear designers to show in the BFC Tent and the Tent was reconfigured for both the men's shows and New Gen shows on the previous day to make it more suitable for these shows.

Business Support programme

Designer Support Manager, Martin Stone's work developing a business support programme has established relationships with accountancy firm Baker Tilley and legal firm Shoosmiths, to the benefit of New Gen designers. Six New Gen designers received specialist one-to-one legal advice from Shoosmiths, and five also received specialist advice from Baker Tilley, and both firms were involved in delivering a dedicated seminar for all New Gen designers ahead of LFW. The one-to-one specialist surgeries, as well as seminars, will be ongoing.

A further development this season has been the association with lloydsTSB. Through endorsement from the BFC, as well as business support from Shoosmiths and Baker Tilley, New Gen designer Mark Fast was able to secure a loan to finance production of orders taken at LFW in February. Mark Fast was a particular example of a New Gen designer who garnered a good deal of attention at fashion week.

The Designer Support Manager has also sat on the panel for the Centre for Fashion Enterprise's manufacturing hub research project.

Model Programme

Following on from the completion of the Model Health Action Plan, communication with the model industry is being further developed through the Model Programme. Regular meetings allow the group to discuss any issues that have arisen with regards to model health and wellbeing, and to further develop projects and policy to the benefit of both models and those that work with models, such as their model bookers.

#######################################################
4. MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
#######################################################

The BFC Marketing Manager met with the LDA project manager during London Fashion Week in February 2009 to update LDAS on progress an plans.

Presentations on the project were made to new LDA board members Ann Humphries on 26th March, and to Jeremy Mayhew on 21st April, both presentations being attended by LDA officers Alex Kinchen-Smith and Judith Rosser-Davies.

#######################################################
5.OUTPUTS & OUTCOMES
#######################################################

Outputs

As predicted, the number of outputs is decreasing each season due to the limitations on counting with a multi category, 3 year project. This has meant that output targets have not been reached. This has also lead to a shortfall on diversity targets, with the exception of women receiving business support, which exceeded its forecasted figure.

Nevertheless, the project continues to deliver in each of the output areas. The number of fashion businesses who have benefited from the BFC's support through the project is now over 1100, and it is only down to the limitations with counting that the output figures do not reflect this.

Outcomes

o Positive media coverage

See above for examples of the positive media coverage of LFW.

o Private sector funding summary

Total private sector funding raised during the financial year 2008/09 has been as follows: [figures guessed from lengths blacked-out]

• BFC Sponsors-supporting BFC infrastructure:£■■,■■■
• LFW Sponsors:£■,■■■,■■■
• LFW Participant fees:£■■,■■■
• LFW Hospitality/LFWEnd fees/revenue: £■■,■■■
• Total Private sector funding raised during 2008/09
= £3,090,000
• UKTI support during 2008/09
= £33,000

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6.NEXT STEPS-2009/10
#######################################################

o Showcasing

There will be a much reduced budget in this area for 2009/10. Activities will include:

• 1.1 - to be allocated to returning designers, Fashion Forward and BFC tent facilities at Somerset House

• 1.4 - Letter from London to be published each season

• 1.5- E-broadcasts to continue

• 2.1 - Continued support for London Show Rooms in Paris

• 2.2 - the next call for funding for the London Fashion Showcasing Fund will be in May 2009.

o Support

• 3.1/3.2 - Continued support for the scholarship, open day and intern programme

• 3.3 - There are market intelligence reports being planned that will examine international marketing, sales and sales strategy in the top 5/6 major fashion countries. The BFC international team is also exploring the possibility of in-depth reports examining fashion in the Middle East and the west coast of the USA.

• 3.4 - The Designer Fact File is being prepared for online publication, to launch in Autumn 2009 [transcriber's note: not found 15/12/9]

• 3.5 - Ongoing LFW support

• 3.6 - New Gen mentoring programme to continue

o Infrastructure

■ 4.1 - Further development of the BFC website

■ 4.3 - Interim economic evaluation to be scoped and carried out.

o Model Programme

• Publication of Model Programme wellbeing leaflets for models
• Coordination of meeting with key stakeholders in the ethnic diversity debate.

#######################################################
-ends unsigned. No accountant measured except for Cision, who add-up the column inches. No estimates of jobs created or jobs lost to UK apparel companies.
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covering letter answering FOI request 12/09
#######################################################
Please see attached the most recent biannual update, complete at the date of your request, provided to the London Development Agency (LDA) by the British Fashion Council (BFC) regarding the LDA's funding of London Fashion Week (LFW).

...2 quarters (quarter 3 and quarter 4 of financial year 2008/09) and makes up the biannual update.

...
Section 43(2) of the Act exempts information from disclosure if disclosure under the Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it). We consider that this exemption is relevant to some information incorporated within the biannual report, in this case the figures relating to the breakdown of private sector sponsorship received by the BFC on page 15 of the report under section 5. These figures have therefore been redacted.

The redacted figures contain information which is not available through the publicly available annual company accounts for BFC. BFC compete with other fashion week organisers to secure sponsorship, including sponsorship for London Fashion Week. From such a global figure for private sector funding of BFC or London Fashion Week it would be possible for those in the industry to estimate the level of sponsorship being provided from the event's main sponsor. If sponsorship information were known it would in our view be likely to:

• weaken the commercial position of the BFC in a competitive market, by revealing details of levels of sponsorship, including that being contributed by the main sponsor for LFW, which could be of advantage to third party potential sponsors when negotiating future sponsorship opportunities.

• weaken the commercial position of the BFC in a competitive market by, revealing details of sponsorship which, when viewed in comparison to sponsorship available to BFC competitors, could impact on the LFW brand and perception of brand within the fashion industry. This could therefore damage the company's business reputation and the confidence that customers, suppliers, contracting parties and investors may have in working with the company.

In reaching this conclusion we have taken into account the representations of BFC whilst recognising that is the LDA which is required to make the decision in response to your request, in light of those representations.

The exemption of prejudice to commercial interest is a qualified exemption. This means that we are required to consider whether, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the figures relating to the breakdown of private sector funding received by the BFC. We consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption in respect of the requested information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information because:

• there is a strong likelihood that commercial prejudice will be suffered by BFC (as summarised above).

• disclosure of the information may prevent BFC or other potentially affected parties, from providing the LDA with information of this nature in the future, thus undermining the ability of the LDA to perform its functions

• when considering the nature of the information which has been withheld there is no overriding interest in our view which, notwithstanding these private interests in withholding the information, leans in favour of disclosure to the public as a whole. The information concerns private sector sponsorship of BFC and LFW and there is no particular public interest consideration which makes it clearly in the public interest that this information be disclosed.

We are therefore unable to communicate the exempt information to you. You will notice that it has been omitted from the attached document.

With reference to your request for the externally commissioned impact evaluation, please note that the only externally commissioned impact evaluation for this project is currently being undertaken with an expected completion date of January 2010. We are therefore unable to supply you with this information at this time.

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John Robertson left an annotation (17 December 2009)

Quote-marks Statistics supporting success of London Fashion Week:

notes on the document above for anyone interested.

There are some statistics supporting the success of London Fashion Week - statistics attributed to Cision value media coverage. They don't value loss to UK manufacturing caused by diverting journalists away from local products and towards a certain sort of designer, for example away from Equity Shoes and towards Terra Plana.

The most recent two reports do not mention "orders worth £40 million" which may have been estimated in previous years: "the number of outputs is decreasing each season due to the limitations on counting with a multi category, 3 year project. This has meant that output targets have not been reached."

Orders in excess of £40 million amongst 200 stalls over two four-days markets would be £100,000 per stall at each market or £250,000 a day. This is over £3,000 an hour for very expensive objects in a show that looked as busy as a department store on a weekday: my impression was that some stalls did not get any enquiries for an hour at a time. Visitor numbers are not quoted but "footfall ... improved".

London Show Rooms in Paris got "500 visitors from 37 countries. Early indications show that in total the 16 designers secured 149 new accounts", presumably nine people per stall signing a chit to say what sizes they'd order. I did that at a Fashion Week and cancelled when detail became clear. No later indications are given for those who exhibited the year before. Banks need persuading that the cheques will clear: "Through endorsement from the BFC, as well as business support from Shoosmiths and Baker Tilley, New Gen designer Mark Fast was able to secure a loan to finance production of orders taken at LFW in February."

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/lo...

Job creation is mentioned in passing, but the paper goes out of its way not to mention manufacturing jobs: "AGREEMENT FOR FUNDING RELATING TO CREATIVE SECTOR SUPPORT - DESIGNER FASHION" is the title, in line with the Higher Education Funding Council's spending of 80% of its knowledge transfer budget on the same theme:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/cr...

A West End shopkeepers' association gives an anecdotal good reference, as they might do for any event, but no reason is given why the movement of a retail job from one suburb to another is worth quoting. Some people visited from further away. We know this because they were paid at least £550 to visit: UK Trade and investment paid £33,000 as its share of "The LFW International Guest Programme, supported jointly by LDA and UKTI" which "saw 60 key, targeted international press and buyers assisted in their visits to LFW, through flight subsidies and accommodation. These visitors are given welcome packs and are accompanied through their stay as they visit the exhibition, catwalk shows and showrooms. Feedback on media coverage generated and orders placed is collected after their visits."

Some people are thought probably to have been involved and so assumed to have benefited, including models:

• London based designers participating [...]
• UK and international press & buyers attending LFW
• Fashion industry opinion formers worldwide
• London based event organisers
• London based business support organisations
• London and other UK colleges and universities
• Fashion design students/graduates
• Fashion models and model agencies
• International guest buyers and press

There's an acknowledgement of the need for business support, and six names of recipients are given; generally, business isn't mentioned and that explains some of the quotes: the "remarkable return on investment" quoted in another LDA document about London Fashion Week, and the recession-busting hype with which the document opens. If it never had anything to do with jobs it's not effected by recession.

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John Robertson left an annotation (22 December 2009)

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John Robertson left an annotation (30 January 2010)

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John Robertson left an annotation (12 February 2010)

Quote-marks http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/alessandra-be... is the CV of someone who wrote these. The boss delegated the job of accounting to taxpayers.

Why?

If the boss had no experience of making more jobs than she destroyed in exchange for her giros than surely no PR person could do better. The PR person chosen to replace Crush Communications had an impressive range of juggling and co-ordination jobs to add to her CV but no experience of writing about job gains being greater than job losses. None. Nothing of any kind. Her CV has never been near an economics course, which is probably a good thing, or a factory, which is probably a bad thing. The word "job" is not mentioned in her report to taxpayers for the absent boss. Not important. Go away. Be off with you. We've got the money now and it's not yours any more. We didn't even know that this private report to the London Development Agency would ever by put on the internet.

• Executive Press & Marketing Co-ordinator at 5 Star Lives Ltd
• International Press Relations Executive @ British Fashion Council
• Press Officer @ Agent Provocateur
Education
• St. Martin's College
• Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication

Industry: Public Relations & Communications

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John Robertson left an annotation (28 June 2010)

Quote-marks http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/co... - same subject, about the press release quoting a "BFC Commissioned report" of £40m benefit, alongside a value of publicity that excludes value lost to Grenson Shoes, Equity Shoes, or Sanders and Sanders that have all gone bust while LFW promotes the Chinese competition such as Terra Plana.

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