London Fashion Week: Seven reasons it's more important than you think

Catherine Neilan
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LFW: Some people will be wearing see-through dresses and pants (Source: LFW)

Next week Somerset House will play host to some of the world's biggest names in fashion, as the 61st edition of London Fashion Week gets underway.

But before you roll your eyes at the prospect of the inevitable hoards of people wearing ridiculous clothing in the hope of being snapped for a street style feature, or the vast quantities of low calorie snacks closely resembling (but not as nice as) cardboard being given out, we need to talk numbers.
The fashion industry contribues £46bn to the UK's economy in total, of which £26bn is direct. Estimates put the UK's total online fashion spend at £19bn by 2019. It's enough to make you choke on your coconut water.
Here are seven things you should know about LFW and why it's important.
1. LFW generates £160m-worth of media coverage during each season. That's no peanuts if you happen to be one of its sponsors, and there are plenty of big businesses out there who clamour for that position.
In 2011, Sainsbury's entered into what can only be described as a pie-up with the fashion world, leading to hundreds of snaps of models “eating” pies.

Almost no pies were eaten in the making of this photograph (Source: Getty)

2. £100m-worth of orders are placed during each LFW by big name buyers around the world.

John Rocha at LFW. Not worn during the school run. (Source: Getty)

There is no data on how many of the clothes are ever worn.

I wear this KTZ number to the shops (Source: Getty)

3. Last September, #LFW was mentioned 329,800 times on Twitter and 120,000 times on Instagram, giving it a huge social media reach.
Because even models need a filter.

Don't we all (Source: Getty)

The social media love spreads to the brands as well as the event itself. Burberry always does well owing to its celebrity guest list and quirky/innovative catwalk "events" as does Topshop, which shows its "proper" Unique sub-brand.
4. LFW may be good for the economy, but it's not brilliant for the environment. In total 32,000 miles are driven between shows by Mercedes Benz chauffeurs, and two designers alone (House of Holland and H by Hakaan Yildrim) travel 16,862 miles moving collections between London, Tokyo and Turkey.

Not for rif-raf (Source: LFW)

5. There will be 5,000 visitors, including buyers, journalists, photographers and broadcast crews.

Not all of them are keen to be there, though (Source: Getty)

6. During the five day show, 30,000 Lavazza espressos will be served, using 200kg of Lavazza coffee beans. There will also be
25,000 bottles of Fiji Water drunk and 5,376 bags of Propercorn eaten. Best of all, 5,000 glasses of Scavi & Ray will be served. Here is what the goody bag looked like last year...
7. People from 196 countries watched LFW live streams last season. And it was beautiful.

It really was (Source: LFW)

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