LONDON: Brands including Vodafone, Mercedes-Benz and American Express are looking to exploit the growing success and international attention generated by London Fashion Week.

The organisers of the event have reported a "significant increase" in the levels of investment from both long-term sponsors and new partners, with activations across advertising, digital, in-store and on-pack.

Jenico Preston, head of sponsorship at the British Fashion Council, told Marketing Week that brands were now extending their activity beyond the week's flagship events and were developing year-round activity.

He also observed that "the nature of fashion and the creative media savvy people powering it means that sponsors can use fashion content to credibly message across most platforms, more often and in ever more inventive ways."

Certainly brands are exploring the possibilities of digital technology and social media to promote greater consumer engagement around the annual platform.

This was noted in a Warc Trends Snapshot of 2012, which highlighted how TopShop had run a live Facebook feed from a catwalk show during the last London Fashion Week, with a facility for viewers to order and customise the garments they saw and liked.

London Fashion Week is also launching a branded product line to raise global awareness of the event – a partnership with hairdressers Toni&Guy will see the product available in salons in 40 countries.

In addition, another sponsor, the Evening Standard, London's evening paper sees new opportunities. It is launching a new section, Shop London, to coincide with the Week.

For the future it plans to feature a segment in in a new local TV channel that could be "shoppable" via a second device.

Jon O'Donnell, Evening Standard commercial director, said that London Fashion Week was getting bigger every year and the events were becoming more accessible.

"Last year you saw the first live streams to help more people feel more involved," he said. "It used to be just reserved for your high-end fashionista, but now a lot more people are interested, more designers are getting involved [in consumer activity] and it's a bit less elitist."

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff