The idea of a runway show stage concept may seem impossible during global COVID-19 related lockdowns, but instead of giving up hope, the fashion industry is imagining new ways to communicate in times of crisis.
The British Fashion Council (BFC) has ushered in major change with the announcement, on Tuesday, April 21, and For the first time in the event’s 40-year history, The British Fashion Council has announced that this year’s London Fashion Week events will be merged and take place entirely online with podcasts and “digital showrooms”
The British Fashion Council announced that the two events would be merged into a single digital event. The event will take place June 12-13 – the period during which the real-world London Fashion Week Men’s event had originally been scheduled.
Instead of physical shows, the event will be completely digital, with content such as interviews, podcasts and digital showrooms rolling out on londonfashionweek.co.uk.
The BFC also confirmed that the new version of LFW will be open to everyone, welcoming both industry insiders and fashion consumers.
“By creating a cultural fashion week platform, we are adapting digital innovation to best fit our needs today and something to build on as a global showcase for the future,” said Caroline Rush, the chief executive of the British Fashion Council, in an official statement. “Designers will be able to share their stories, and for those that have them, their collections, with a wider global community; we hope that as well as personal perspectives on this difficult time, there will be inspiration in bucket-loads. It is what British fashion is known for.”
“The current pandemic is leading us all to reflect more poignantly on the society we live in and how we want to live our lives and build businesses when we get through this. The other side of this crisis, we hope, will be about sustainability, creativity and product that you value, respect, cherish.” She added.
she continued. “We hope that as well as personal perspectives on this difficult time, there will be inspiration in bucketloads. It is what British fashion is known for.”
The digital platform will give designers new ways to showcase their brands and collections, be it through lookbooks, videos, and even podcasts. It will also include virtual showrooms, allowing retailers easy access to the brands.
So far, Moscow, Tokyo, and Shanghai have held digital-only versions of their fashion weeks. Shanghai Fashion week took place on Alibaba marketplace Tmall and featured online shopping, videos of previous fashion shows and new collections presented in different “rooms”.