The fashion launch calendar for the international winter 21 is chaotic. Name changes, brand entry and exit, collection presentations on disconnected dates. The pandemic forced a shocking restart for fashion brands, their suppliers and partners.
New York Fashion Week has shrunk, changed its name to American Collections and fashion shows can take place anywhere, anytime. The Versace show, a Milan classic will take place in the middle of Paris Fashion Week (but outside the official schedule). Moncler, which had been opening the Italian week with its fantastic installations of the Moncler Genius project, has not yet defined when it should make its next launch. The brands of the Kering Gucci group, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen will not be on the Paris program and will show their collections later, closer to the date of arrival in stores, or whenever they want.
With the pandemic, designers and brands from all markets migrated to digital formats. For some it was a chance to test new formats and timings outside of traditional seasonal demands.
The launch falls
But what at first seems like chaos is the industry breaking free from traditions that no longer make sense and experimenting with new approaches to collections, fashion shows and showrooms. Eckhaus Latta, which traditionally parades in New York, chose March 2 to reveal its winter collection 21. The launch falls during Paris Fashion Week, but the date was chosen because it made sense for the brand’s supply chain.
In fact, the future of fashion shows has never looked brighter as designers get rid of pre-pandemic restrictions and delve into essential elements of their business, such as their most definitive designs and their relationships with consumers. When they return to the catwalk – wherever they go – we will find dramatically smaller and more compact collections. For example, Burberry presented only 29 looks this month, instead of the 60 from the last collection.
We will still see many other chapters of this great change.