Now that COVID-19 has turned the world upside down, many industries are forced to change. It’s too early to say whether those changes will be permanent or not. However, the first digital fashion weeks are a fact. Does it mark a dead end to the fashion weeks as we know them? Will digital events become the new normal? Let’s figure out.
Cover photo: © Pexels
Half April the British Fashion Council announced that London Fashion Week will merge its mens and womenswear shows into a gender-neutral, digital platform. A little earlier, the CFDA announced that the Resort 2021 week wouldn’t take place due to the global crisis. But the first news hit the hardest: Paris Haute Couture Week and Men’s Fashion Week got canceled at the end of March.
Digital fashion weeks
However, not all events have communicated to go fully digital. London Fashion Week is the first to announce an entire new online experience. They seek to expand the boundaries of traditional fashion weeks. On Instagram they explain:
“London Fashion Week will relaunch as a digital only platform, open to all and merging womenswear and menswear in light of the current environment, for designers to tell their stories through collections, creative collaborations, podcast and videos. www.londonfashionweek.co.uk will be accessible to all audiences; embracing the cultural commentary, creativity and humorous spirit for which British Fashion and London are known. Sign up to be notified when the platform launches and experience #LFW as a digital event this June.”
The new normal for fashion
Over the past seasons, perhaps years, both activists and the fashion incrowd knew that the current fashion system had to change. Why should buyers, influencers and celebrities fly around the world to watch 5 minute shows and post similar pictures on social media? Buzz could be created in another way as well.
In line with this, Zara already has found creative ways to do their product photography according to social distancing guidelines. The fast fashion chain has sent samples to models worldwide, so they could shoot photos at their homes. And the results are stunning and human. They show true pictures of people wearing clothes. These ‘amateur’ photos make clear what the garments look like in everyday settings. In the best case, this will lead to less returns.
What the future of fashion weeks will look like, is uncertain. We have to be patient and wait until this first edition of London Fashion Week has taken place (check out all Fashion Week schedules here). So let’s make new conclusion after June 12 and let’s see what the new normal will look like.