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Natalie Massenet’s letter to London

By Patricia Campbell

As London prepares to put on its most spectacular fashion week yet, Natalie Massenet MBE has written an open letter to the capital, appealing to Londoners to be their ‘most stylish self’.

In her letter, which was printed in yesterday’s London Evening Standard newspaper, the NET-A-PORTER founder and Chairman of the British Fashion Council shifts the focus away from the main catwalk schedule – which is accessible only to a few – and instead, seeks to inspire the ordinary fashion consumer.

Alluding to the more inclusive aspects of fashion week, such as Oxford Street’s September Fashion Showcase, Massenet champions the city's stylish inhabitants whom, via the power of social media and their own inimitable street style, have the potential - and power - to 'give London the boldest and brightest fashion face’.

Proof that you don't need a show ticket to be part of fashion's critical mass.

Read the letter in full, below:

Dear London

British fashion is a serious business. The British fashion industry is worth £21 billion to the UK economy and employs 819,000 people across the country. With your help, we would like to see these numbers rise for the good of our industry, our talented designers and our reputation worldwide. Next week the global fashion industry is coming to town for London Fashion Week and we would like you all to be part of it. You are the most fashionable inhabitants in the most fashionable city in the world. Our style inspires and starts global fashion trends.

From Friday, September 13, to Tuesday, September 17, thousands of guests from all over the world descend upon the city for London Fashion Week. It promises to be five days that showcase the very best of British fashion industry talent and one of the highlights of the capital’s summer, with shows, exhibitions and presentations. And while the shows are a trade event, fahsion is for the consumer so dress up, London!

All eyes will be on you as our international guests will be tweeting, instagramming and reporting in nearly 50 countries across the world — broadcasting to millions of people worldwide about London as the global capital of creativity — all of which will help grow our brands, stimualte exports, create new jobs and generally make us a must-visit city (there are so many reasons of course but we’re just talking fashion right now).We would like you to join us in putting on the show. Be your most stylish self for the week and give London the boldest and brightest fashion face and the loudest fashion voice possible.

To inspire you, Oxford Street today is lined with 75 fashion flags that pay tribute to the creative contribution from British designers and recognise the immense role they play in making London the best fashion destination in the world. London Fashion Week is much more than just a trade event — it’s one of the most high-profile fashion events in the world.

To celebrate our creative capital we are rallying support by asking you to join our city-wide campaign and broadcast London Fashion Week to the world.

As the great Coco Chanel said: 'Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.'

Please be part of the happening, get involved with London Fashion Week and make the streets of London the best catwalk showcase in the world.

Thank you and see you there.

Natalie Massenet MBE

Chairman, British Fashion Council

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