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Inside the revamped June edition of London Fashion Week

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London Fashion Week’s June edition looked a little different this year. At the heart of the event was an exhibition hosted at the Institute of Contemporary Art, which celebrated three cultures that have impacted London’s menswear scene: the Black, South Asian and queer communities.

Guests who weren’t busy swarming British Fashion Council (BFC) ambassador David Beckham — who opened the event alongside the organisation’s CEO Caroline Rush — wandered the exhibition, which had been guest-curated by brand consultant and creative Simran Randhawa, radio and TV broadcaster Clara Amfo and model, activist and poet Kai-Isaiah Jamal, curious as to what the new format would bring. The exhibition featured designs from some of the city’s most exciting designers, including Ahluwalia, Nicholas Daley and Labrum London. These designers are “leading the way when it comes to innovation in menswear design today”, Beckham said in his opening speech.

David Beckham and BFC CEO Caroline Rush at the BFC Network Breakfast at the ICA during London Fashion Week.

Photo: Kate Green/BFC/Getty Images

It was a bold new approach from the BFC amid a turbulent time for British designers. “We are spotlighting culture to highlight London’s point of difference during men’s fashion month,” said Rush in an interview ahead of the event. “This is a city of unparalleled creativity and culture, and we want to honour the designers, brands and communities that make a rich and significant contribution to the British fashion industry.”

There wasn’t the usual flurry of black cars and street style photographers as attendees rushed to back-to-back shows. Instead, the three-day event, which ran from 7 to 9 June, was mainly made up of panel talks, events and activities. Highlights included run clubs by Labrum London and Represent; a tour of Savile Row; a pub quiz for industry insiders; the BFC/GQ fund announcement, which was awarded to Bianca Saunders; and a number of panel conversations — open to the public hosted by principal partner 1664 Blanc — on topics including diversity and performative activism.

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