Mark Fast and the evolving landscape of London Fashion

Best known for his sexed-up knitwear, Canadian-born, London-based luxury knitwear designer Mark Fast showed precisely why at London Fashion Week (LFW). This season he took to the occasion with a 2024 collection full of adventurous mixes of knitwear with big coats, bodycon dresses and 60’s-inspired interstellar style.

Fashion designers come and go at LFW, but Mark Fast is a regular in a designer market that is feeling economic pressures. Speaking to FashionUnited at his latest show, he underscores the importance of longevity.

“I don’t believe in instant success, seasonal must-haves. They are all too instant and erratic,” Fast says. “So I guess ignoring them and keep doing what you’re doing and keep going where you want to be is a successful plan for me.” Seems like his plan is working.

Mark Fast, AW24.
Mark Fast, AW24. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight
Mark Fast, AW24.
Mark Fast, AW24. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

The last time we spoke to Fast was amidst the pandemic. In the four years since, his brand has evolved from a relatively modest online presence to a global business that has tapped the Asian and Chinese markets. “Being able to have successful e-commerce – and to visit my mono-brand store (we have more than 10 across Asia) – fills me with pride,” he says, noting the recent opening of a store in Hong Kong’s high-profile Harbour City mall.

London remains an important creative hub, he acknowledges – and he’s working on upping his retail presence too, exploring the potential of the likes of Harrods and Selfridges.

As the British Fashion Council (BFC) continues to evolve its plans to keep LFW on the global map, Fast recognises its support. “I had great recognition and great support from the BFC which affected and supported my career path to this stage.”

Mark Fast, AW24.
Mark Fast, AW24. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

It’s a tough world out there for designers, but Fast is philosophical. He added: “Life, people and organisations are constantly having development and changes, not to mention different challenges and we must all adapt and thrive through it.”

Fast also mentioned that he had recently visited the ‘Rebel’ exhibition at the London Design Museum, a significant showcase that showcased 30 years of the city’s fashion scene and the multitude of accomplished designers who have benefited from the BFC’s enduring NewGen programme.

Mark Fast, AW24.
Mark Fast, AW24. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight
Mark Fast, AW24.
Mark Fast, AW24. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

Mark Fast’s futuristic vision of the ‘Galaxy Beyond’

For his AW24 collection, Mark Fast was inspired by the work of industrial designer and architect Joe Colombo, best known for his futuristic designs of the 1960s. Colombo transformed ordinary objects into extraordinary pieces and pushed the boundaries of living spaces. Fast enjoys doing the same with his work, elevating familiar fashion pieces to a new dimension.

The knitwear was as strong as ever, shown beneath voluminous coats, mixed with denim and accessorised with patent boots. Fast explored textures including faux feathers and went all sensual with velvet bodycon dresses. He used neon accents to infuse vibrancy into a palette of bold purples and blues.

His gender-neutral designs are always full of confidence – and this collection, titled Galaxy Beyond, looks set to keep Mark Fast at the forefront of modern design innovation.

Mark Fast, AW24.
Mark Fast, AW24. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

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