• Angela Smith

Fashion Week: Unprecedented (like everything else)

Fashion week is going virtual this year. FWO: Fashion Week Online. This is their branding 2020’s Fashion Week slated to start on September 13. It will be digital and it will be open to the public. The Council of Fashion Designers of America has introduced RUNWAY360, which will allow designers to showcase their collections to both industry professionals and the general public digitally.

And it sounds like they teamed up with the people from Technology Week to make it happen.

In order to make this a memorable experience, augmented reality and virtual reality will be employed. Additionally, we will see 360-degree capabilities, live video streams, e-commerce extensions, consumer shopping features, and social media integrations make an appearance during this year’s fashion week.

Canceling Fashion Week was not an option a the fashion industry has been hit quite hard by the pandemic. Fashion Week is critical for brands, and this year it is extremely important. Because of the hard-hit this industry has taken, Fashion Week is different this year. Not simply because it is online, but also it is shorter. Rather than the typical 7 days, Fashion Week will only be 3 days and will host only 60 shows (last year there were 150).

Who’s Who?

FWO will begin with Jason Wu at 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 13, and ends with Tom Ford at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16.

There are also some notable names missing from the lineup: Michael Kors, Tori Burch, Prabal Gurung and others.

Prabal Gurung stated “Whatever we put out there has to have a reason for its existence; pretty clothes are no longer enough. We need to really think about purpose and a mission.” He is hoping to have a show closer to the time when shoppers will be ready to buy.

This leads us to another change: RUNWAY360 will be an ongoing business platform for brands to use, complimenting physical events and shows in the future. Designers will be able to present their styles to the public and buyers anytime and anywhere this year, even beyond September 16.

Also unprecedented and in tone with 2020, FWO will showcase designers of color from Harlem’s Fashion Row,- an organization advocating African-American and Latino designers, founded by Brandice Daniel.

In addition, menswear will also return to the calendar.

Fashion Week Around the World

New York is not the first to host fashion Week during the pandemic.

Copenhagen’s Fashion Week was digital as well, and a combination of fashion films and lookbooks. Many designers put behind the scene members of their team and their families front and center. With stay at home orders still in place, photographing those close to you is just easier! One such designer was Stine Goya. Stine Goya created a special House of Goya spring 2021 collection film featuring members of her own team, as well as Copenhagen-based dancers, actors, musicians, and artists.

The fashions presented at Copenhagen were varied. From ready to wear, to calming to playful, all of the fashions were designed in quarantine and looking to capture the feelings, needs and wants of the public.

Stockholm’s Fashion Week made a splash as it went digital with a throwback to free love and the 70s and a ban of fur and exotic leather.

Crown Princess Victoria inaugurated the week. In her speech, she said “the fashion industry is getting ready for a digital and sustainable future” and that she was “hopeful that the Swedish Fashion industry can be a positive example to inspire the rest of the world.”

Stockholm 2011 is credited with the skinny jean fade, and this year, if they are the trendsetters, long and loose are in for 2021.

The fashion industry among many others has been hard hit by stay at home orders, supply chain issues and people tightening their belts, but like many industries, they are adapting and trying to make the best of it.




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