A model figure? £5,000 for a front-row seat at London fashion week(2024)





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A model figure? £5,000 for a front-row seat at London fashion week

Guardian investigation reveals industry credentials no longer required to secure top tickets

You may have thought that the front row seats at fashion week are reserved for only the hottest celebrities, Instagram trend-setters, trade buyers and journalists like Anna Wintour in her trademark sunglasses. But an investigation by the Guardian reveals that front-row seats to some of the world’s biggest fashion labels’ catwalk shows are being offered for sale for as much as £5,000 each





The designers selling seats in the front row – known as ‘The Frow’ in the industry – include Alice Temperley, a favourite designer of the Duchess of Cambridge, and Mary Katrantzou, whose dresses have been worn by Michelle Obama, Sarah Jessica Parker and Keira Knightley





Katrantzou, a London-based designer who sells cocktail dresses that cost as much as £30,780, is offering front row tickets to her catwalk show on Saturday night for £5,000 each. The designer’s senior sales executive Sarah Dulong said: “We did [have tickets], but a few weeks ago. The tickets were selling for £5,000 for the front row




When asked if the buyers of front row seat tickets would need to have a knowledge of or interest in fashion, Dulong said: “Not particularly, no






A spokesperson for Katrantzou later said: “Mary Katrantzou sells tickets to the show through the BFC [British Fashion Council] London fashion week guest club packages




The BFC said its guest club packages offer “the exclusive opportunity for your guests to be part of the select few who experience the phenomenon of this internationally acclaimed fashion event




The BFC said it offers a range of “uniquely dazzling package[s]” including “glamorous champagne breakfasts”, private chauffeurs and previews of forthcoming collections from more than 100 designers. These packages start at £520 per person





It also offers “the front row experience”, which includes “front row seats at a standout British designer catwalk show plus the opportunity to meet and greet the designer backstage after the catwalk show”. The cheapest front row tickets cost £1,700 plus VAT





The BFC’s corporate hospitality partner SME London said it had tickets available for Temperley London’s show on Saturday night for £2,500. The SME representative said the tickets included meeting Alice Temperley backstage after the show. “The front row experience is very much being at the centre of things with all the VIPs and celebrities and those in fashion,” the SME sales representative said. Temperley did not respond to requests for comment





The BFC defended the little-known practice of touting front row tickets for sale, which has shocked some influential fashion figures. Caroline Rush, the chief executive of the BFC, said: “As a not-for-profit organisation that supports many young designers, we offer hospitality packages that in turn enables us to offer a premium show venue to emerging designers at a reduced rate, or offer additional income to those designers that work with us on front row packages, to offset the costs of producing a catwalk show





“As you can imagine, the show seats, particularly front row, are in high demand and we only work with designers that are able to accommodate, hence the limited amount available.” Rush later said that the BFC had failed to sell any of the highly priced front row tickets





She said the BFC has long offered corporate hospitality packages. However, Harold Tillman, the former chairman of the BFC, said he was shocked to learn that coveted front row seats had been put up for sale






The Guardian was also offered front-row tickets to Victoria Beckham’s catwalk show on Sunday for £5,000 each by a third party. Beckham was not aware that tickets were offered for sale and said she has “categorically not offered any hospitality to the vb show”. Since offering the Victoria Beckham front row seats for sale, ticketing company Sincura group has apologised to Beckham and stated that an employee who offered the tickets was mistaken






“The Sincura Group are a private concierge company who represent high net worth clients around the world,” Tony Baxter, director of Sincura said. “We can confirm that though we do have access to many shows, Sincura Tickets have no access to Victoria Beckham’s fashion show. We have never sold any tickets to their shows, nor do we publish these tickets on our website. One of our new members of staff was indeed contacted by the Guardian newspaper and I have been told that he stated that we did have access. This was incorrect.”




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