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Why Cos is showing on the London Fashion Week stage

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Fashion |Opinion

Image: Cos

Swedish fast fashion giant Cos will present its AW21 collection during London Fashion Week on Tuesday. Keen to be regarded as a London-based designer brand, Cos last month released its fall campaign in what it says marks a new direction for the company. While the AW21 collection is already for sale on its website, the London Fashion Week outing is meant to position itself in a class away from sister brand H&M and other high street labels.

In a LFW absent of big name designers, Cos will have a sizeable budget for a presentation in comparison to the many emerging designers on the official schedule. Held at the prestigious Roundhouse theatre in North London, the hybrid show will have both men’s and women’s wear, along with a digital focus of portraiture and moving images, all to be livestreamed via its website.

In a press release in August Cos called the garments of its latest collection “iconic,” made with “meticulous construction” and “craftsmanship made for longevity.” Similar descriptors could easily be found on the show notes of any luxury brand. The comparable difference is that high-street marketing speak uses attributes like “elevated” and “sustainable” more loosely as they are often the grey areas of lower costing brands, thus open to interpretation.

A press exercise

To show on the catwalks of London Fashion Week without unveiling SS22 after its AW21 campaign has already been published, makes the Cos presentation a focus on wooing the fashion press, convincing the industry of its new direction, whether it is true design-led innovation or in the ‘elevated’ arena it aims to play.

Details and depth

The discussion of which types of brands are most suitable to the catwalk ended years ago after contemporary fashion labels and high street companies like Topshop chose the format to unveil their lines. A sober and clean fashion aesthetic can be thrilling on the runway if the details and depth are there.

Ultimately it comes down to product: to the fibers used to make garments, to the cuts and fits of the tailoring and the quality of stitching that would indeed elevate Cos beyond its high street peers when it shows on the Roundhouse stage. Anything else would be pure theatre.

The Cos presentation will be livestreamed on Cos.com at 15:00 BST.

London Fashion Week