What is the future for fashion week?
The year of 2020 has been a significant turning point for the fashion industry, and how many designers rethink the future of their brand and where it stands within the current climate.
Alessandro Michele for Gucci as an example, has completely erased the norm of the fashion week calendar, bidding farewell to the annual rota of spring/summer, autumn/winter, pre-fall and cruise collection, and instead opting for a seasonless approach. Micheles' new found philosophy for Gucci is to be focused more on sustainability and have fewer shows, celebrating and connecting with Earth itself.
The majority of next year's spring/summer collections were presented for the first time for more general public viewing. Traditionally, fashion week is by invitation only, meaning that your average Sarah couldn't rock up to a show, even if she was on the back row and paying a hefty price tag. The French designer, Jacquemus, opened his S/S 2021 collection up for the public online where you could livestream the show from the comfort of your own home.
Fashion week usually collects a lot of buzz online, typically posts captioned with "fashion week" sky rocket to the top of many fashion lovers' feeds. Fashion week is also a very very important week in the fashion calendar for many publications as they act as public's insider on reporting the events of backstage and on the catwalk; not to mention street style. On serious note, fashion week creates jobs, so it is without a doubt that many will miss out this year and maybe next year too due to the pandemic. So what is the future for fashion week?
Digital fashion shows will become the new norm for many fashion houses as it ensures safety for both the guests and team. But it also opens a whole new spectrum of techno possibilties, allowing the brand to be more creative than ever before. This will also open up many new jobs, especially in the technical side of the industry, such as film makers, cinematographers, visionists and so many more.
From a sustainable POV, digitial fashion shows makes so much more sense. With everyone watching at home, think of the amount of flights that would have been taking place to transport everyone to the fashion capitals; think of all the CO2 not being emitted into our atmosphere because everyone is at home. According to The New York Times, the travel to and from NY fashion week each year is 37 percent of total annual flight emissions, with 40,000 buyers and designers visiting New York annually. The global fashion industry emits 2.1 billion tonnes every year (as of 2018) and is expected to rise to 2.7 billion by 2030.
An online fashion week seems like a exciting prospect in the future of the fashion industry, and I wanted to see what opinions people had on this topic, here's some of the responses I got...
"It feels more sustainable as people won't feel the need to buy a new outfit for it"
"Don't really care for it, especially since fashion week is more about influencers than the fashion"
"I think its kind of cool. Everything is moving with the times"
"I don't like it! It's nicer having the experience of actually going to a fashion show"
You can see that there are mixed opinions on a future online fashion week, but you can clearly see that its a love or hate kind of thing. On one hand, it can be seen as a good move towards sustainability and the innovative times we're living in, on the other hand many are annoyed because fashion week should be a physical experience and many enjoy the process of buying a brand new look for FW especially influencers.
Thank you so much for reading.
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Nytimes.com. 2020. Figuring Out Fashion Week’S Carbon Problem.
Vogue Business. 2020. Fashion And Carbon Emissions: Crunch Time.