The Industry chats to catwalk king John Walford, Founder of Vauxhall Fashion Scout and Director of Walford Shows.
At the helm of fashion's new and innovative, John is an expert in catwalk production. Now moving his attention from London to emerging markets such as Lagos, we catch up with him to find out what he's up to.
You recently sold your share of VFS to pursue your own projects all over the world – tell us more about these.
At the moment I'm working with various big fashion projects such as Fashion Weeks in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Lagos. I am also developing Bath's Bath in Fashion festival. This is growing year on year and is an exciting and practical way of helping the local retailers. In Ireland I am working with Tatler Magazine to build the profile of designers (both established and less established) in Ireland and abroad. Unfortunately the kind of work I am being offered internationally did not fit into the VFS remit so with much sadness I left.
How does working internationally compare with London? Where do you think the next big Fashion Weeks will be?
An analogy that I always use is that London is like a 25 year old big brother. The other Fashion Weeks may only be five years old so naturally they can not do what the big brother is doing. However when they are older, they will be capable of being bigger and better having had such a strong example to follow.
The next big Fashion Weeks will be in countries that have sturdy infrastructures of designers, fabrics and sales to attract attention. No one has that at the moment and no where looks as if it is going to have it within the next few years.
In your opinion what makes a good catwalk show?
Clients always have different requests so a good show is one that fits their brief. I like a bit of theatricality but the priority for the client is a smooth show that runs well – the two are not incompatible by any means but right now no one wants to spend any extra money without good reason. I think any catwalk that makes the audience look at it with interest is a good show!
Where do you see Walford Shows in five years?
I have always tried to provide a holistic service and therefore increasingly I am doing much more product launches and exhibition designs – this is an interesting sideline that helps some of my clients. In the future I hope to be working in ever more esoteric and interesting areas with a solid bedrock of clients.
Get in touch with John via The Industry Directory
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