Addressing a crowd of fresh-faced fashion press, many of whom already grasped the day's first glass of champagne at 9:45AM, Johnson struck an irreverent note. 'This is by far the most glamorous audience that I ever get to address,' he said. 'It's a great, great pleasure to be opening London Fashion Week.'
The Mayor drew cheers when he noted London's recent rise to the status of the top fashion capital in the world ('I think voted on by a select group of London fashion experts.'), and again when he appealed for names of London designers to highlight as industry stars ('Stella McCartney
is that right?').
Although he said he wouldn't know whether a young designer had talent even if given the chance to evaluate the clothes, Johnson ended his remarks on a more sombre note. He said that the fashion industry possesses the tools to ease London's unemployment crisis.
'My message to you today is a serious one and a simple one: if London's fashion business can help Londoners in this difficult time by taking them on..., then together, we can not only reduce youth unemployment.... but we would also of course be unlocking untold riches of talent, and we would be lengthening London's lead as the fashion capital of the world.'
Before introducing the Mayor, Tillman thanked attendees for building LFW into a more important event every season and looked ahead to London's Olympic year.
For the 2012 games, the BFC has designed a Fashion 2012 programme to 'showcase our creative excellence, inspire and educate young people, and... leave a legacy of future support for our fashion designers and stars of tomorrow,' Tillman said. The BFC also plans to convene an International Festival of Emerging Talent.