Fashion East Is 20! These Are All The Trends It Made Us Wear

Designed by Anna Jay.
It’s the year 2000. Jennifer Lopez, appearing at the 42nd annual Grammy Awards in a navel-skimming, leaf-covered Versace dress, has set in motion what will become Google Image Search. Gap’s West Side Story-themed campaign is introducing a new generation to the capri pant. And in east London, Lulu Kennedy is assembling the foundations for one of the fashion industry’s soon-to-be most important, career-elevating platforms for new talent: Fashion East.

"I didn’t really understand fashion when I started doing it," Kennedy told critic Charlie Porter in a recent interview for cult style title, Luncheon. "For the first show I was like, don’t we just get a massive sound system and some lights?" Twenty years and an MBE for Kennedy later, Fashion East shows have become golden ticket affairs, at which Marc Jacobs and Harry Styles have both made front row cameos.
 
Nurturing designers on the cusp of their career with unique support in the form of mentoring, PR and a show space (read: an IRL platform for press and buyers to engage with the clothes), the initiative is responsible for launching some of today's most celebrated talents. Menswear designer Kim Jones, who bowed out at Louis Vuitton in 2018 – taking his final exit arm in arm with Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell – and is currently creative director at Dior Homme, showed with Kennedy’s crew in 2005, while Simone Rocha, JW Anderson and Ed Marler (the mastermind behind FKA twigs’ Magdalene looks) all made noise with the help of Fashion East.
 
Such is the impact of the Shoreditch-based nonprofit – its cultural footprint is far-reaching and its industry credentials sky-high – that you, too, have likely (if unknowingly) celebrated the fruits of its designers. Ahead of this season's virtual SS21 show and with that big anniversary in mind, let us refresh your sartorial memory with a look back at the trends dictated by Fashion East.

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