City is back on the fashion map

Gok Wan in Edinburgh
Gok Wan in Edinburgh
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A MASSIVE three-day fashion festival is being planned for Edinburgh in a bold bid to put the capital back on the fashion industry map.

Plans to hold bi-annual festivals, with big-name designers showcasing collections, were scrapped after the city’s fashion week five years ago.

But now a new venture is being launched by a Liverpool-based model agency, and organisers hope to attract 33,000 people and a host of celebrities to the event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

They are also hoping to sign up one of television’s biggest fashion names, Gok Wan, to host the catwalk shows.

Joanne Saunders, director of Majestic Model Management, said she wanted to bring an “epic fashion event” to Edinburgh after she realised there was little opportunity for local designers to show their clothes alongside designer names, and for high street chains to mix with independent shops.

And she claims that if successful, the event could run to seven days next year, to rival The Clothes Show event in Birmingham’s NEC.

“This isn’t just a fashion show, but an epic event,” she said. “We have major sponsors lined up and our hosts include some big names who will conduct our nine catwalk shows.

“We really do think this is something that Edinburgh has been missing even though it is such a stylish city. All the fashion plaudits seem to go to Glasgow, so we hope to put that right.

“We know there are other events held through the year, such as the fashion graduates show and annual charity fashion shows, but this will be much, much bigger and we hope will become a seven day event. It will be the perfect event for anyone who has an interest in fashion and beauty.”

Working with Ms Saunders is Jane Taylor, a former Miss England who recently came second runner-up in the Miss Universe contest. The pair held model casting sessions at the Dakota Hotel near South Queensferry last weekend.

Edinburgh hasn’t hosted a major fashion event since 2006 when the former Edinburgh City Centre Management Company along with the city council, EventScotland and Scottish Enterprise East, organised the city’s first fashion festival.

It attracted major designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Jonathan Saunders and Matthew Williamson as well as celebrities such as Tracy Emin, Sienna Miller and Cat Deeley.

But despite sales in city stores rising by a third during the four day event, private investors were unwilling to back a repeat festival. The festival will be held between Friday, November 18 and Sunday, November 20. A percentage of sales will go to Cash for Kids.

For more information visit www.edinburghfashionshow.co.uk or call Majestic Model Management on 0151 329 2191.