Are Fashion Shows Over?

This question is not new, but this week, as we have just finished another round of global fashion weeks – we feel it is more relevant than ever.

In today’s global fashion world, two major trends have been raising this question:

  1. As fast fashion has become the norm (thanks to e-commerce, social media – and more), the audience wants instant gratification. It is no longer plausible, then, to have them wait 6 months post catwalk for that gratification.
  2. The world of social media has also warranted the need for true, immersive experiences rather than “just a runway show”. This means that instead of runways – we are seeing the rise of Instagram moments (stunts, gimmicks, installations, etc), and actual disruptive fashion events – such as the screening of a catwalk live and with Virtual Reality –as has been employed, for example, by Burberry.

If we agree that the erosion of the old school fashion show is, indeed, happening, there are viable solutions.

Option 1: Schedule runway / sales coordinated launch:

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Several voices opt for a complete change. Some luxury houses, such as Tom Ford and Burberry, have started online sales immediately after a runway show – much of this aided by giant online retailers, such as Net a Porter. Others have sold capsule collections the day after – for example, when Moschino sold their McDonalds accessories collection only 24 hours after being seen on the runway.

Option 2: Go old school:

Some designers are even thinking about a complete change: giving small in-house presentations to journalists only – the return to “salons”. Thus, reporting will naturally lag slightly, creating the desire for the collection closer to its actual appearance in store. Last year, such a presentation was delivered by Givenchy; Tom Ford has also employed this approach in the past – and rather similarly, with his intimate, star-studded gathering for his collection Presentation at NYC’s Four Seasons. Perhaps this is a mighty glimpse into the future.

At Havas Luxe, we believe that both above solutions are viable – though option 1 is far more viable than the other. For starters, we feel strongly that a live experience is imperative to truly immerse oneself in a brand and its collection – so these must be upheld. But instead of “just a runway” – we have long championed the true experience – one that integrates storytelling, and the tools with which to bring that story to life: sets; video; augmented and virtual reality; installations – and more.

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Next, we believe that synchronizing the event with at the very least the availability of a capsule collection for physical or online purchase will satiate the die-hards, as well as influencers, who in turn will not only enjoy getting what they want immediately – but will also serve to amp up the desire for your collection in the audience at large in the ensuing months.

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