Annette Worsley-Taylor, born on July 2, 1944 and died August 24, 2015, she founded London Fashion Week. Worsley-Taylor was the only child of Sir John Godfrey Worsley-Taylor, 3rd Baronet.
Drawn to fashion from her earliest days, she got a job at Christian Dior in London.
Then, at 21, she set up her own shop, Tsaritsar in Knightsbridge with her friend, Tania Soskin (who later married Roddy Llewellyn).
She went on to set up Taylor & Hadow in Beauchamp Place with Jenny Hadow, concentrating on London designers.
In 1974 she conceived a small designer exhibition, the New Wave Exhibition and Fashion Show, at the Ritz to promote young British designers to the international market. This led to the founding of the London Designer Collections the following year, which she ran until 1992.
In 1983 she successfully lobbied the Department of Trade and Industry to create a permanent London fashion office.
The following year she teamed up with the fashion PR, Lynne Franks, to stage a fashion tent at the Commonwealth Institute in Kensington, at which time the British Fashion Council was formed.
Eventually the Council took it over. By then London Fashion Week was attracting at least 5,000 members of the press and buyers.
This was the first and only fashion designer co-operative in the UK, staging shows in hotels, and later at Olympia.
Among the many British designers taking part were Bruce Oldfield, Belleville Sassoon, Victor Edelstein , and David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who had designed the Princess of Wales’s wedding dress.
Princess Margaret, the Princess of Wales and the new prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, paid formal visits to see the collections.
Annette Worsley-Taylor went on to move the London Designer Show away from Olympia to the Duke of York’s Headquarters in the King’s Road, thus setting the pattern for London Fashion Week venues. She subsequently moved the fashion shows to the Natural History Museum.
From 1993 she was creative and brand director to the British Fashion Council on all aspects of London Fashion Week .
Between 2006 and 2008 she was a consultant and creative director on Robert O’Byrne’s book, Style City – How London Became a Fashion Capital (2009).
Annette Worsley-Taylor died on August 24, 2015 at age 71.