Hessle, UK: Hull Fashion week funders HullBID have given the local economy a big vote of confidence after choosing Hull-based marketing and events firm Sowden & Sowden to run this year’s illustrious Hull Fashion Week.
Amidst stiff competition, investment in a local marketing firm demonstrates that Hull businesses can compete with the best from around the country.
Sowdens are no strangers to Hull Fashion Week, having managed the event for 4 consecutive years 2009-2012, now they’re back and looking forward to building an inventive programme of events, being well known for their alternative take on the event’s itinerary; from vintage open top bus rides around the city centre to launch Hull Fashion Week to showcasing Hull’s most stylish pooches on the runway.
Hull Fashion Week sees the city centre’s high-street chains; independent boutiques, hairdressers, beauty parlours and more come together to exhibit their products across a week long style extravaganza.
Sowden’s proven track record saw an increase in visitors to city shopping centres Princes Quay, St. Stephen’s and Prospect Centre by 20% with an impressive 5,000 people visiting Holy Trinity Church, which hosted 2012’s main event, an increase of 150% from the previous year. An extra 106,135** people visited the city centre in 2012, marking a 17.6% increase on the same week in 2011.
Hull Fashion Week, which happens annually, is one of the highlights in the city’s calendar, drawing big crowds in to the city centre. As Hull moves closer to assuming City of Culture status a greater emphasis is being placed on events such as these. The award of a two-year contract will mean Sowdens are responsible for the successful delivery of the event in 2014 and 2015.
The company is also responsible for organising other high profile events including Hull Folk Festival and Yum! Food Festival as well as representing KC at Business Week and Gamze & Interactive at toy exhibitions across London, Nuremberg and Hong Kong.
Kathryn Shillito, city centre manager at Hull City Centre BID ltd. said: “Fashion week is an important event for the city and one that is enjoyed by consumers, retailers and stakeholders.
“It can be a priceless tool for many retailers; not only does it provide them with a cost-free platform to sell their goods to a mass audience, but it also draws increased footfall to the city centre – which has a knock on effect on establishments that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with fashion, such as cafes and restaurants.
“Sowdens have a proven track record of delivering our events in both an innovative and cost-effective way.”
Polly Sowden, the Event Organiser said: “Fashion Week is known across the area and is a real feather in the city’s cap.
“For our finale event in 2012 visitor numbers to the area increased by 14.5% to 21,998*,
so there’s certainly a demand for this event.
“With the City of Culture status in 2017 these sort of events are the perfect opportunity to show just how deeply ingrained culture is in the make-up of Hull.”
*Compared to the week before in 2011.
**Footfall figures supplied from Springboard footfall counters