In light of the current crisis, many events, shows and festivals have either been cancelled or postponed to a later date, posing a great financial difficulty to major companies and brands. As we all have already witnessed, the lockdown has brought the world to a standstill and caused massive economic damage to many big industries, including fashion.

Following the unprecedented chain of events, many prominent fashion shows were cancelled earlier this summer, including Milan, Paris and London Fashion Weeks. However, due to the financial losses and to tackle and fight this difficult time, the organizers of the show have decided to make the best use of technology and showcase their collections on a digital platform.

Videos are the most developed vehicle for viewing fashion shows remotely, but there is opportunity for more creativity and exploration.

 

Virtual showrooms, which make use of 360-degree imagery, allow for better data and communication between brands and buyers.

 

Additional technologies, like virtual reality and haptic gloves, are in development but are not yet as accessible

Inside the February 2020 edition of the Moncler Genius project, typically held during Milan Fashion Week Photographed by Corey Tenold

According to the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, Paris Fashion Week is all set to take place from July 9 to 13, which will be held in a video format. It will be followed by Milan Fashion Week, which is scheduled from July 14 to 17 and will showcase men’s spring/summer 2021 collections. With that being said, London Fashion Week has also joined the club and will take place from July 12 to 14.

According to the president of the Camera Della Moda, Carlo Capasa, the idea behind holding a digitized display of the collections is to create something different from the usual fashion weeks.

Models in a London runway show in June 2019. Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

For the first time since its launch in 1983, London Fashion Week announced that it is going to be held online, making it available not only to fashion buyers and industry insiders, but also to the public and the rest of the world. Instead of the traditional display of physical shows, the industry has seen different cities transitioning into the digital sphere amidst current circumstances — with Fashion Weeks in Shanghai, Moscow and Tokyo going fully online too. However, London is still the first major city on the fashion circuit to adapt and go online, making a usually highly exclusive event, slightly more mass market.

 

This new digital model is interesting, to say the least. Scheduled from 12 to 14 June over a weekend, when the men’s shows normally occur, the online platform will provide other insights aside from the usual runway display. Interviews, podcasts and digital showrooms will be available on the official London Fashion Week website, offering a range of never before seen content, access to exclusive discussions with designers and webinars.

Another interesting aspect of LFW online is that the event will also be gender neutral, meaning that menswear, women’s swear and genderless shows will be merged and presented together, perhaps following the recent trend for mixed shows as seen from luxury brands such as Gucci, Burberry and Jacquemus.

 

Is going digital the answer the fashion industry is looking for during these times?

“Without catwalks and shows, we wouldn’t be able to let the world what’s new or who should be celebrated. Moreover, the digital change will create new types of business.”

“We are united in our steadfast belief that the fashion system must change ,and it must happen at every level “