London Fashion Week goes digital

vor 2 Jahren

London Fashion Week without Fashion Shows – 100% digital and genderless

Fashion Week is a happening that stirs up the entirety of London. Whether in the underground, in hip cafés or corner pubs, the week is usually full of stylish influencers, trend-conscious editors and other fashion oglers. Twice a year, the streets of London transform into public catwalks, and everyone who has anything remotely to do with the industry shows what fashion means to them.

But this season, the global spread of Corona mucked things up and paralysed an entire industry. Because of the unfavourable circumstances the brands had to work in, a majority of the designers in London don’t have collections to show. So why then will there be a London Fashion Week? Last weekend London started off Fashion Month with their first digital version of showcasing latest trends virtually.

British Fashion Council decided to move menswear week in June though they already expected that designers might not have any collections to show. Especially in such a unique time of social-distancing, we are living in a time which the pandemic induced a debate about what it means for the industry. So now it’s not only a shift to digital but also a gender-neutral approach. For us, that’s a quite innovative change to London Fashion Week.

Some designers indeed managed to set up collections and showcased them online in campaign videos. Not only designers that were part of London Fashion Week but also further fashion brands took the chance to at least publish their collections online as lookbooks or moving pictures. Chanel started as the first major fashion line to release their latest collection on Instagram, revealing their Cruise 20/21. Chanel originally planned to host their reveal on the island of Capri but was forced to go digital. Independently detached from any Fashion Week, Hermès and several other brands are planning live-stream events as a digital experience tied to their Spring 2021 collection during canceled Paris Fashion Week in July.

For leading social media platform Instagram and broadcasting platform YouTube, it’s a real advanced opportunity to become the global hub for digital fashion showcasing.

British Fashion Council and the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode in Paris provide an online platform that allows retail buyers to easily place their orders for upcoming collections.
The profile hub arranged by BFC includes a gallery of more than 100 London designers to draw both new potential customers and the eyes of buyers. Since the stores have been closed for such a long time, designers especially need to be able to reach consumer and trade audiences.

Instead of huge events, endless parties of excess, and of course the fashion shows themselves, London Fashion Week reveals fashion news via blog entries, online videos, recorded podcasts, and plenty of live-streamed panel conversations.

Since Fashion gets more political, topics of current politics were part of the public conversations, as well.
As the pandemic and social change forces us to think of new ways to showcase collections and generally change the industry, we are happy that business still moves forward.

Digital London Fashion Week was, after all, a pilot project that proves the field of fashion continues evolving. Let’s see this time as a chance to close gaps in systems we worked in for years and build something new that’s still based on experience the fashion professionals bring, and connect it with a contemporary approach of Digitalisation and Inclusivity.

Text: Olivier Mohrińge

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