THE ALTERNATIVE FASHION WEEK STORY
Celebrating the ‘alternative’ approach to fashion
Alternative Fashion Week is unlike any other fashion week. Open to everyone and free to the designers to participate, the energy and atmosphere are palpable. Running for a full week with 15 shows a day, attracting audiences of over 10,000 and with a vibrant fashion market of wild and wonderful accessories, this event is a prime example of how imagination and resourcefulness can overcome a mountain of economic obstacles and promote sustainability.
In 1993 Spitalfields was a deserted, run down area with a huge empty market building. Today it is probably the most exciting cultural quarter in London with its markets, art galleries, shops, restaurants and bars attracting millions of visitors every year. Alternative Fashion Week has played its part in regenerating the area, raising its profile to a global audience and promoting hundreds of new designers.
Alternative Fashion Week has established an international reputation with world-wide press coverage. Every year Alternative Arts is overwhelmed by the number of young designers hoping to establish their label applying from all over the country, and other parts of the world, to have a catwalk show. We invest in innovation and ideas. This is fashion on the edge, risky, experimental, fashion for the future. It’s not about money or material success but inspiration and ideology, how to have designer fashion in the current financial climate, thrifty & thrilling, offering a world of real opportunities. Alternative Fashion Week provides that vital stepping stone between the graduate shows and the mainstream fashion industry.
Alternative Fashion Week is concerned to raise environmental awareness and actively supports recycling and ethical sourcing. Each year a growing number of collections supports these themes.
All our models are new. Our modelling course responds to requests from a large number of young people (and some older ones) wanting to gain experience. We are proud of the diversity of the participants, and many of them come from East London. The course is entirely free and run by a top choreographer for six weeks prior to the shows.
Alternative Arts produces Alternative Fashion Week. We are a publicly funded arts organisation presenting fashion as an exciting and original art form. Every year we have to raise the funds to present the week. We are always looking for sponsors as well as being supported by the Spitalfields Estate and Hammerson. We also support charities who take up a collection at each show.
MAGGIE PINHORN, Director.
Alternative Fashion Week can be contacted at Alternative Arts Info@alternativearts.co.uk
020 7375 0441 www.alternativearts.co.uk