The Fédération de la Haute Couture announced that Paris Fashion Week will happen September 28 marking the first European city to confirm Spring/Summer shows. While some designers are skeptical given the current circumstances, many fashion houses are persistent in keeping the tradition as classic as possible.
Earlier this spring, the fate of Fashion Week and the industry was very much uncertain. In April, Saint Laurent announced it would not be following the “pre-set schedules of 2020.” Back in May, Gucci also announced they would be permanently abandoning the traditional industry schedule.
Other fashion houses, such as Burberry, Dior and Chanel, have more so embraced the new normal. Burberry is planning on having an outdoor showing for their London Spring collection that can also be digitally accessed. Dior is also planning to have a live show with no audience on July 22 in Italy. Chanel’s President of Fashion Bruno Pavlovsky also expressed his commitment to Paris Fashion Week.
Since most European countries are beginning to lift COVID-19 restrictions, London Fashion Week event organizers are also trying to make plans. A spokesperson revealed to CNN that as of now, they are planning to hold the event in September combining digital and physical shows. He told them, “we are currently in conversation with the designers to understand what their plans are. An official announcement will be made early July to confirm the exact format.”
Despite so much uncertainty, many designers are already planning for the upcoming shows. “If you’re going to hold a physical event a few months from now, you have to give people some clarity around dates and timing and whatnot, in order that people can plan,” Imran Amed, CEO and founder of Business of Fashion, told CNN.
Whether the shows go on or not, 2020 Fashion Week will not be the same for numerous reasons. One obvious reason is that many shows will either have a limited audience or none at all. The other being that many small brands will likely have to sit out this Fashion Week. Amed explained that due to COVID-19 related revenue loss, most smaller brands will not be able to expense live shows. While the big fashion houses tend to take center stage, the smaller brands and designers really make the experience of Fashion Week feel whole.