To celebrate Pure London’s return to Olympia, we delve into the venue’s rich fashion past

Burberry at Olympia London

Pure London will return to Olympia’s Grand Hall next month for the first time in over two years. Now in its fiftieth season, fashion buyers have been discovering new brands and ordering from their favourite suppliers under its iconic glass roof for 25 years.  

Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to flock to the venue for the three-day event to watch catwalk shows, place orders and learn about the latest business insights. And its exhibitors will be in great company, as numerous high end fashion houses have also chosen Olympia London over the years to launch some of their iconic collections.

Fashionable past

In 2017, Versace showcased its AW17 collection during London Fashion Week at Olympia West. Taking advantage of the modern features of this particular space, the Italian fashion house created the perfect atmosphere for Donatella Versace’s powerful, contemporary and provocative collection.

Burberry followed in February 2020, transforming Olympia Grand by erecting a mirror-like catwalk that reflected the hall’s famous 170-ft span arches. The quintessentially British brand showcased Riccardo Tisci’s AW20 classic and luxe creations, inspired by the multicultural elements of Britishness. Tisci told Vogue that opting for Olympia London was also a conscious choice based on the venue’s sustainability credentials.

Dior’s Olympia London catwalk

December 2021 was time for a French fashion powerhouse to occupy the same space. Dior took over Olympia Grand for a historic presentation: the brand’s very first menswear show in London since 1947. It also marked designer Kim Jones homecoming showcase having last appeared in 2003. The Hammersmith-born creative celebrated the freedom and irreverence of Jack Kerouac’s novel Beat Generation for Dior Homme SS22. A gigantic scroll inscribed with the extracts from the book was installed as the runway while the spectacle was live streamed to millions across the globe.

Pure London at Olympia

It’s coming home

This July will see Pure London reimagining the space once again with a vibrant and colourful theme. Julie Driscoll from event organiser Hyve Group plc says: “Pure London has been the appointment in the most influential retailers’ diaries for over 50 seasons. With its incredible long-standing heritage as the market-leading show for fashion, the show will continue to provide a global platform for womenswear, footwear, jewellery and accessory brands and designers, and as it comes back home to Olympia London we want to ensure we are creating a show for the industry. We can’t wait to work together to bring the show home.”