London to host first Commonwealth Fashion Exchange

A showcase bringing together a host of fashion talent from the 52 nations that make up the Commonwealth will be held in London in February.


Livia Firth, founder of Eco-Age poses with the CEO of Matchesfashion.com, and representatives of the BFC, The Woolmark Company and Swarovski

Major names such as Karen Walker representing New Zealand, and Burberry representing the UK will be joined by up-and-coming talent from all 52 Commonwealth member countries as they partner up to create one-of –kind looks that will be presented at a special reception at Buckingham Palace during London Fashion Week.

The looks will move to a public exhibition in London’s Australia House on February 21st, and will tour other locations in London in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in April 2018.

The initiative is part of a new project called Commonwealth Fashion Exchange and led by sustainable agency Eco-Age with the support of the Commonwealth Fashion Council and the British Fashion Council, in collaboration with Swarovski, The Woolmark Company and Matchesfashion.com.

Livia Firth, founder and creative director of Eco-Age, says: “This is a project rich in partnerships and creative co-design. For example, one of our very talented designers from India is paired with an artisan group in Tuvalu. As someone who is passionate about joining the threads of global fashion and creating real partnerships you can imagine how exciting it is for us to be involved.”

Patricia Scotland Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, adds: “The modern Commonwealth is young and creative. It represents a third of the world’s population, 60% of whom are under the age of 30. So fashion, alongside music and sport, represents a powerful common language and platform through which to influence young people around key issues.”

Matchesfashion.com will launch an edited collection based on Commonwealth collaborations in September this year, and Google Arts & Culture will provide an educational resource for the public with a directory of each designer and artisan producer.

Daniel Hatton, CEO & Founder of The Commonwealth Fashion Council, says: “The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange is the beautiful result of cultures coming together. This project has provided a common sustainable ground which broadens networks and allows for the discovery of new friendships and processes, which enriches creativity.”

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