Before the coronavirus pandemic happened, there was already a buzz around the fashion industry that fashion shows are dying, that they are already a thing of the past. Fashion houses were skipping seasons. They’re also combining men’s and women’s collections in one show. There are a lot of shifts in the industry, but the pandemic and the new normal will accelerate those changes.
With the pandemic happening in March and until today, the thought of the fashion industry’s future has largely gone unnoticed. Who cares if people will never see fashion models strut their stuff on the runway again? There are bigger problems in the world than never going to see these models and their perfect features, after all.
Fashion brands turned a corner during the pandemic. Like many companies, they know they cannot survive if they remained adamant about pursuing their live fashion shows. They have to change with the times. They also realized how economical it is to organize these events virtually rather than in real life. While nothing will compare to the joys of live audio courtesy of AV equipment rentals, the industry has no other choice. At least, for the time being.
Virtual Fashion Shows
Of course, the show must still go on for many fashion brands. What they did is to move their events to the virtual world. Instead of having to organize a whole spectacle of models walking on the runway, event organizers have to downsize everything—smaller venues, shorter runways, less staff, and no guests and celebrities. Even the models themselves have to practice social distancing when they strut their stuff in front of the video camera that livestreams it to social media or a private Zoom conference call.
Understandably, where is the fun in virtual fashion shows? When no cameras are clicking and melting the makeup right off the models’ faces, and there are no celebrity dramas on the front row, is that really a fashion show? That’s, unfortunately, all the fashion industry has right now. Virtual fashion shows will be here to stay.
Live Fashion Shows with Small and Exclusive Audiences
While many believe that live fashion shows are essentially dead even after the pandemic ends, some fashion houses are still pushing for these shows. Of course, this time with a smaller and more exclusive audience. Fashion shows have always been invitation-only events, but they are about to be even more exclusive. Smaller events mean that these shows will only invite the crème de la crème of the fashion industry.
The purpose of a fashion show is to provide would-be consumers, investors, and campaigners a peek into the next season’s collections. Ordinary people don’t understand what the fashion show is for, but those working in the industry understand how essential this is in inspiring collections by different brands.
System of Seasons No Longer Relevant
A lot will change in the fashion industry, but nothing will be bigger than the changes about to come in the timing of shows and the system of seasons. The traditional fashion week schedule is dependent on parameters that are no longer relevant. This will have to change because the general rule of organizing the fashion week three months after the major season no longer applies. While it is not a dying industry, it certainly needs to be reborn.
The system of seasons is also becoming irrelevant. The system is based on Western European and American seasonal calendars. Fashion, however, must no longer be constrained into these calendars. Fashion is a global industry. Everyone follows it. Even at the far end of the world, you will see all kinds of fashion being worn, influenced, and styled. It’s time to take these things into consideration.
The new normal, of course, is also changing the way media covers fashion events. Aside from reporters and journalists being unable to attend these shows, they’re also demanding that shows become more realistic with their schedules. Fashion houses need to be more current. The old tradition of magazines preparing shoots six months before the publish date should end. Right now, people need immediate access to information, even when it comes to fashion news.
Indeed, for the fashion industry, the show must go on. While there will be many changes, there will also be a lot of chances to reinvent itself. Will it be better in the new norm? Can it be a trailblazer for other industries again? Certainly. With its proud heritage, the fashion industry will only move forward.