23 Mar Will the coronavirus outbreak anticipate a renewal of fashion weeks?
At the current moment of coronavirus pandemic, the fashion industry players are debating once again if the expire date of fashion weeks is coming to an end. For years, experts have been announcing a crisis in the fashion week model. Especially after the change to a “see now, buy now” business model. People are wondering if fashion shows are still a viable option for the planet.
On the other hand, many consider them essential for the industry. Because, after all, these events provide networking, business matchmaking and generate press. But now, given the scenario of cities’ lockdown, fear and uncertainty of the future, this debate gains an even greater proportion.
During the Milan Fashion Week, Giorgio Armani was the first to communicate that his fashion show would be held behind closed doors, given the coronavirus situation. The show was recorded in an empty theater and thanks to digital, international buyers, clients and investors could watch it live streamed on their devices.
The future is sustainable
Despite this, we need to remember the history of the fashion show in order to understand why it is such an important part of the industry. In 1943, the first-ever fashion week was held in New York. Eleanor Lambert started organizing seasonally fashion events with the aim to give fashion buyers alternatives to French fashion during World War II. Through that period, workers of the industry were unable to travel to Paris. So, she provided an occasion for designers to showcase their collections for press and buyers from all around the world. Then it became a fashion tradition.
However, in the current moment of climate change and Covid-19 pandemic, sustainability is becoming increasingly necessary. Perhaps the Fashion Week model needs to be reformulated to keep up with the demands of the planet. Responsibility to the environment is more and more being discussed in the fashion industry. Brands must be attentive to their design practices, working conditions and eco-consciousness. Especially if we talk about Generation Z and their requirements for sustainability and transparency.