Fashion & luxury sectors have been one of the worst-hit in light of the economic havoc created by the coronavirus. With the supply-demand chain being adversely affected by a halt in manufacturing Retail outlets have closed their doors, and fashion weeks have come to a standstill world over. With the current norms of social distancing and the impact on the economy, luxury brands have been forced to re-evaluate the traditional systems. Covid-19 is shaking the fashion sector, prompting brands to come up with new strategies and systems to stay relevant in the times to come. Further, the pause in time has given the industry a chance to re-think the pace of fashion - offering the possibility to return to less hectic, more considered creativity and productivity and consumption.
Fashion weeks around the world are seen as one of the biggest fashion events world over since this is the time fashion and beauty trends for the upcoming season are decoded. Think spring/summer, resort, fall/winter or pre-fall, the fashion houses never stop creating magic. However, keeping in mind the current scenario, the pause in time calls for the restructuring of the way the fashion industry has worked for many decades.
Luxury brands, Gucci & Yves Saint Laurent are amongst the first fashion brands to bid adieu to the traditional fashion calendar. Taking the plunge to go seasonless, they are breaking away from their relentless four-times-a-yea runway show rhythm. Gucci has announced that they would be scaling down the rhythm of their runway shows to twice a year. Saint Laurent hasn't given an announcement on the same, but said in a statement last month that it would "take control" of the fashion schedule "conscious of the current circumstances and its waves of radical change." The move is throwing light on the weight of the megabrand brands as being the drive for change. Well, we can surely say that fashion runway shows are so last year, as proved by Gucci & YSL.
Seasonless fashion was a highly awaited move in the fashion industry and Gucci has finally taken the plunge. Traditionally fashion weeks occurred twice a year - spring/summer and fall/winter, however with trends being decoded with every season fashion brand began to start innovative for each season to ensure they don't lag behind. It has been clear for the last few years that the fashion world has been suffering under the current pace of fashion. A variety of luxury houses have been combining men's and women's shows as genderless and seasonless dressing becomes a global theme. It's not unheard that some major brands do skip a season or two to venture away from the hectic fashion calendar and tap into a new audience. With the novel coronavirus taking a major hit on fashion weeks one thing is certain - there are no trends to follow for this season. This gives brands the chance to explore their creativity. Trends could be re-imagined in new colours tones or old trends can be re-created with modern elements. This is the time for brands to showcase their creativity.
Shanghai Fashion Week was the first to go completely digital. The event took place of Tmall, the online marketplace of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Moscow Fashion week followed suit, and London Fashion Week is the most recent addition to the club. The London Fashion Week: Men’s scheduled to take place from June 12 to June 14, 2020, is relaunching as an entirely digital gender-neutral show with content rolling out on londonfashionweek.co.uk.
With fashion weeks going digital the best part is, you don't have to be an influencer, a journalist or a VIP to gain access to these Fashion Weeks. The shows are open to public. However, they might be losing their exclusivity, but on the brighter side of things, this does allow brands to express their creativity using technology in new ways on digital platforms.
While digital fashion weeks are a new way forward at least for the near future, one can't deny the aura, extravagance and magical experience of a physical runway show.