Attendee numbers surge by 75 per cent at “record-breaking” Harrogate Fashion Week

Lynsey McGarrigle, Sarah Scott and Richie Crawford from McElhinneys in Ireland

This weekend’s Harrogate Fashion Week attracted a significantly higher number of attendees than its previous editions, with 50 per cent more visitors on Sunday and 75 per cent more on Monday compared to the same days in July 2021.

Now in its seventh season, the two-day event increased its floor space for SS23, showcasing the latest womenswear, footwear and accessories collections across three halls inside Harrogate Convention Centre. This weekend’s event followed a successful AW22 edition in February, which saw a 25 per cent uptick in attendees on its August 2021 show. 

Retailers reportedly travelled from across the country this season, with buyers arriving from as far afield as Ireland, Inverness and Bournemouth.

Buyers on Lily and Me’s stand

National event

According to organisers, Harrogate Fashion Week is “no longer a regional event” and has earned a place on the fashion trade calendar as one of the UK’s largest womenswear exhibitions.

Co-founders Wendy Adams and Sarah Moody say they are thrilled with the response to the show’s latest instalment and are currently forging plans to increase its duration from two to three days for the spring/summer seasons: “Buyers can do a complete buy at Harrogate Fashion Week as it offers great daywear, eveningwear, shoes and accessories all in an easy-to-navigate layout,” says Sarah. “There’s really no need to go anywhere else.”

She adds that its spa town location is also proving to be appealing among attendees: “Many have commented that the show was like the good old days when fashion took over Harrogate,” she says. “They love the great mix of business and pleasure that the spa town offers.”

Harrogate Fashion Week SS23

Buyers visiting this season’s show were able to peruse the latest collections from regular exhibitors Isabella, Orientique, Marble, Pomodoro, Veromia, Rino and Pelle, Dolcezza, Lily and Me, John Charles, Bariloche, Tilley and Grace, NYDJ and Kevan Jon. Meanwhile, many newcomers were also present including Taifun, 5 Hearts from Eugen Klein, Bianca, Troy London, Paramour, Henrietta Steffenson and Luella.

Since first launching in July 2019, Harrogate Fashion Week has grown in popularity among both buyers and brands. The organisers also host a free drinks party on the Sunday evening so buyers can network with other indies and suppliers.

The eighth edition of Harrogate Fashion Week will take place on 5-6 February 2023.