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Testing support for London Fashion Week

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Model Odira Morwabone being tested for LFW © Leo Cinicolo

Model Odira Morwabone being tested for London Fashion Week © Leo Cinicolo

Published: 17 February 2021

The show must go on

Westminster Council supporting London Fashion Week to help it thrive during the pandemic 

Westminster City Council and the British Fashion Council are working together to support London Fashion Week designers with the rapid testing of teams, production crews and models, so that collections and content can be filmed safely. The content will be streamed online this week (19 – 22 February 2021) when London Fashion Week launches virtually.

The British Fashion Council, a Westminster not-for-profit organisation who run London Fashion Week, has been warning of the devastating effects of the pandemic on the British fashion industry. London Fashion Week is a huge contributor to the economic and cultural prosperity of Westminster, with the fashion sector representing over £35 billion for the UK’s GDP every year, so being able to support the industry at this difficult time so it can host a successful, digital London Fashion Week is vital. 

"It was the only safe way to have a shoot – it wouldn’t be right or fair to expect people to work in an environment that didn’t offer testing. I’m so happy with what we were able to accomplish on the day of the shoot and knowing that we were testing beforehand."

Nicholas Palmer

Designer Nicholas Palmer being tested for London Fashion Week © Leo Cinicolo

Designer Nicholas Palmer being tested for London Fashion Week © Leo Cinicolo

Working with the British Fashion Council, Westminster Council has been able to support with testing before shoots begin, ensuring a safe, Covid-free environment. All those involved – including designers, models, make-up artists, hairstylists, production and film crews – are able to take part in London Fashion Week safely and securely through rapid flow tests where the team can arrive, be tested and receive their test results within 30 minutes.  

Cllr Rachael Robathan, Leader of Westminster City Council said: 

“It is so important that we test as many people as possible who live and work in the borough, to help contain the virus as best we can, and we’ve now done over 30,000 symptom-free tests in Westminster to help keep people safe. Our overall community testing programme allows us to test our residents and businesses to help them survive, and London Fashion Week is no exception.  

“We want to remind people that our biggest cultural institutions and events, such as London Fashion Week which reaches people on a global scale, are at the heart of the creativity and vibrancy in Westminster and we want to do everything we can to show our support for this sector that has been so severely hit by the pandemic.”    

Caroline Rush, British Fashion Council Chief Executive said: 

“We are delighted to work with Westminster Council to provide testing for all those involved in filming digital content for London Fashion Week. As an industry severely hit by the pandemic, we need this essential support in order for designer businesses to be able to showcase their new collections virtually. London Fashion Week is a cultural highlight in London’s annual calendar which attracts thousands of international visitors; we look forward to working with Westminster Council again when the time comes to safely revive our city.”

One of the designers involved with this year’s London Fashion Week is Nicholas Palmer of N Palmer who, along with his team, were all tested by Westminster Council, so he was able to safely go ahead with his shoot. 

Nicholas Palmer, of N Palmer, said: 

"It was the only safe way to have a shoot – it wouldn’t be right or fair to expect people to work in an environment that didn’t offer testing. I’m so happy with what we were able to accomplish on the day of the shoot and knowing that we were testing before hand, wearing masks, and socially distancing, we were able to do so safely makes it all the better. I would never ask someone to make a choice between their health, the health of someone else working for me, that’s just insane.” 

Model Alex Guiste being tested for LFW © Leo Cinicolo

Model Alex Guiste being tested for London Fashion Week © Leo Cinicolo

Over 30,000 symptom-free tests have now been completed in Westminster, helping to keep residents and communities safe. Symptom-free tests are available to anyone in Westminster who still needs to leave their home for work, including those working in the construction industry. The council also has a number of sites across the borough for those who are displaying symptoms and need a test.  

Notes to Editors 

British Fashion Council:

  • The BFC confirms that London Fashion Week, due to run from Friday 19th to Tuesday 23rd 2021 will be able to go ahead as digital-only event. Shows, presentations and installations can be filmed and photographed but should not take place with an invited audience.  
  • London Fashion Week will take place online. All designers showcasing new content and selling new collections are featured on the digital platform, accessible to everyone throughout the year. 

Westminster City Council:

  • For more information on where you can book a test in Westminster, visit our Covid testing page