In March 2020, Shanghai Fashion Week presented the world’s first completely virtual fashion week. The show was hosted by Tmall, a platform under the Alibaba Group umbrella. Amid newly established social restrictions all over the globe due to growing concerns over COVID-19, the fashion industry had to adapt quickly in order to find new and innovative ways of presenting their latest collections. This digital trend quickly caught fire and by April 2020, Moscow Fashion Week had also presented collections online with other nations following suit shortly thereafter.
The British Fashion Council (CNMI) has now announced that London Fashion Week will combine their men’s and women’s fashion shows online. The virtual fashion show will be non-gendered and showcased in June 2020.
Following London Fashion Week, France’s Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode and Italy’s Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana will also present digital fashion weeks. Paris Fashion Week will showcase haute couture collections online from July 6 to 8, 2020. Milan Fashion Week will be presented from July 14 to 17, 2020. To watch the “Milano Digital Fashion Week – July Issue”, visit camerammoda.it website and follow along on their social media platforms. Videos and interviews with designers will be published online in addition to the digital collections.
Well before the pandemic, Helsinki Fashion Week had already announced that they would be going digital in July and partnering with tech company, Normative. The choice was initially made to avoid the impact of fashion week on the environment due to travel. The virtual shows are scheduled to run from July 27 to August 1, 2020.
Although COVID-19 restrictions served as the initial catalyst for the majority of transitions to digital fashion weeks around the world in 2020, it could be said that a latent “new norm” has been created. This opened up a dialogue between the typical gender-based division of fashion week collections and more inclusive, non gender based fashion events. A digital show can also generate a larger, more diverse audience as it includes individuals who, in the past, may not have had the ability to physically view the collections in real-time.
Bougro, Par Augustin. “How Will Fashion Houses Present Their Collections After the Confinement.” Vogue, 29 May. 2020, https://www.vogue.fr/fashion/article/fashion-houses-collections-after-covid-19-confinement-digital-online-platforms-fashion-week. Accessed 29 May 2020.
Chou, Christine. “What Shanghai’s First Digital Fashion Week Meant For Brands and Designers.” Alizila, 6 Apr. 2020, https://www.alizila.com/what-shanghais-first-digital-fashion-week-meant-for-brands-and-designers/#:~:text=Due%20to%20the%20Covid%2D19,Alibaba%20Group’s%20e%2Dcommerce%20platform. Accessed 27 May 2020.
Marriott, Hannah. “Fashion Meets Fortnite: 3D Clothes and Digital Catwalks.” The Guardian, 10 Apr. 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2020/apr/10/fashion-meets-fortnite-rise-of-3d-clothes-digital-catwalks. Accessed 29 May 2020.