Even before Covid-19 came along and turned the world upside down, the fashion industry had, for several years, already experienced shifts that often ended up in a return to the status quo. For instances, a few years ago, much hype was made about see-now-buy-now fashion shows, which would allow consumers to procure pieces shortly after seeing them on the runway, instead of six months later. After giving that a go, designers such as Tom Ford soon abandoned the concept, citing issues with
supply and manufacturing. Now, with global restrictions on travel and large gatherings remaining in place, the industry is in flux again as major labels suddenly find themselves unable to stage their usual live extravaganzas.
The mid-year men’s spring/summer 2021 fashion shows have gone digital, with London spearheading the move online last month with a gender-merged, three-day event. Dominated by smaller labels like Marques Almeida and Christopher Raeburn, and heavy on issues such as sustainability, it felt relevant to the times. This month, Paris and Milan will host their virtual fashion weeks. Some brands, however, have decided that it’s time to reinvent show schedules on their own terms.
Michael Kors Collection and Gucci will hold just two shows per year, doing away with the two inter-seasonal collections that have contributed to a frenzied pace criticised as creatively unsustainable for designers. In April, Saint Laurent said it was breaking away from the traditional shows to “reshape
its schedule”, although no details were given. Stay tuned.