Liverpool breaks Guinness World Record

Liverpool is celebrating after breaking the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the Most Models on a Catwalk in its The Very Big Catwalk extravaganza on Saturday 4 July. The record-breaking spectacle, which online retail giant Very.co.uk helped to bring to life, formed part of the city’s Transatlantic 175 celebrations to mark the 175th anniversary of the first transatlantic crossing.

The Saturdays’ singer and newly announced Xtra Factor presenter Rochelle Humes and The Only Way is Essex star and DJ Lauren Pope were among the 3,651 people to sashay, strut and saunter their way down the 40 metre-long catwalk, located at the city’s Pier Head. The Guinness World Records attempt took a whopping three hours fifty minutes from start-to-finish.

The Very Big Catwalk, sponsored by online retail giant Very.co.uk, was produced by TV and live event fashion producer Jane Galpin and hosted by British fashion expert and former editor of the BBC’s The Clothes Show, Caryn Franklin MBE.

Everyone from school children to pensioners came together to break the Guinness World Records title, with ‘tribes’ such as Cruise Liverpool to Liverpool Signing Choir and basketball teams to Biggins all strolling down the runway under the shadow of the Liver Birds and the RMS Queen Mary 2, which was docked at Liverpool Pier Head preparing to recreate its inaugural voyage to Boston.

The previous record for the most people modelling on a catwalk is 3,083 and was achieved by the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Moda, Casa de Francia (Mexico) in Mexico City, Mexico, on 24 November 2013.

Discussing the record attempt, creative director for the two-day event, Wayne Hemingway, said: “Liverpool is pretty adept at taking its place on the world stage, so the fact we’ve smashed this Guinness World Record attempt comes as no surprise. 

“What was really amazing was seeing all the many different parts of Liverpool’s community represented. We had everyone from a team strutting their stuff in vintage fashion from the 20s, right through to the 90s, to women giving their wedding dress a second outing in a category called ‘Here Comes the Bride’. Everyone, from local Brownie packs to ‘goths’ got behind the attempt, and that’s why it was such a huge success. It was fun leading out the bald headed men section. I knew losing my hair would come in handy one day. “

Very.co.uk marketing director Kenyatte Nelson added: “Being Liverpool-based is an important part of Very.co.uk‘s DNA and we were thrilled to help put on this massive show in the city.

“Like our brand, the catwalk attempt was fun, fresh and bold, and to have helped achieve a Guinness World Record is incredible. 

“We’re proud to have been part of an event that has helped to put the magnificent city that Liverpool is firmly on the fashion map.”

Assistant Mayor, Councillor Wendy Simon from Liverpool City Council, added: “We’re so proud to have broken this Guinness World Records title. It’s the icing on the cake and a fitting ending for what has been a fantastic summer of events in the city.”

The successful Guinness World Records attempt formed just one part of the first day of the two-day Transatlantic 175 event, organised by Liverpool City Council and curated by iconic British designer Wayne Hemingway.

Other highlights included ‘Vintage on the Dock’.  A bespoke version of Wayne Hemingway MBE’s highly acclaimed Vintage Festival, this event saw visitors take part in everything from pop-up Charleston, Jive and Jitterbug dances to retro makeovers and ‘make do and mend’ creative workshops. There was also a vintage marketplace, where fashion, homewares, vintage vinyl and memorabilia from the 1920s through to the 1980s was available to purchase.

Once visitors had worked up an appetite, they could enjoy the delights of the Eat the Atlantic Food Festival, which tickled taste buds with its array of food demonstrations, street theatre, hands-on food art workshops, live music, children’s ‘fishy tales’ storytelling sessions and, of course, an abundance of delicious food, including a number of American diner-style eateries and international dishes served from vintage vehicles.

Also in association with Very.co.uk, Saturday evening saw iconic Merseyside-born DJ Greg Wilson hit the decks and take a huge crowd at the Pier Head on a musical journey celebrating Liverpool’s history as an entry point for American music in the UK – right from the vinyl singles brought over by the Cunard Yanks to the soul, funk, disco and house music that’s been getting people out of their chairs and onto the dance floor for the past half century.

The day was topped off by the departure of the Queen Mary 2 cruise liner from the city, which set sail towards the bright lights of New York City in a recreation of the 1840s maiden voyage that originally sailed to Boston. This finale included a massive firework and light display as the city waved farewell in style to the majestic cruise liner.

The Transatlantic 175 weekend marked the end of a seven-week programme of spectacular events in Liverpool, all under the banner of ‘One Magnificent City. The celebrations were to honour the city’s internationally renowned maritime history and transatlantic links, and mark Cunard’s 175th anniversary.