A programme to attract international fashion buyers and journalists to London Fashion Week has brought "millions of pounds" into the UK fashion industry, organisers claim.

As London Fashion Week prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary when it opens this Friday (18 September), Mayor of London Boris Johnson hailed the success of the British Fashion Council's International Guest Programme.

The scheme, which invites influential fashion buyers and journalists from around the world, had generated sales of about GBP18.5m (US$30.5m), according to returns up to May this year, the Mayor's office said.

It had also generated international media coverage estimated to be worth GBP15.5m.

The Mayor said it was vital to continue supporting the UK fashion industry, particularly during the current economic downturn.

"Working with the British Fashion Council we can ensure that London Fashion Week offers a high-profile platform for designers and - crucially - brings in sales," he added.

"Every GBP1 spent on the International Guest Programme produces a return of GBP880 and there's no doubt in my mind this represents excellent value and makes sound business sense."