You didn’t have to be an influencer, a journalist or other VIP to gain access to Shanghai Fashion Week
US fashion house Diane von Furstenberg presented her collection, along with fast fashion retailer H&M and up-and-coming Chinese designers like Shushu Tong and Angel Chen.
demonstrated how fashion can be brought closer to consumers.
While watching the show on their mobile phones, customers could also see items from the collection that were immediately available for purchase. For some, the multitude of interactive experiences of Shanghai Fashion Week could have initially felt overwhelming. Maybe it’s helpful to know that a certain ‘buzz’ – paired with a fair amount of noise and an abundance of colours – is often regarded as a must-have to boost sales in China; something has to be constantly going on to make for a good atmosphere.
which in the span of a month was transformed from eight days of shows and buying appointments into a fully virtual seven-day experience featuring shows from 151 brands.
SHANGHAI FASHION WEEK WAS REIMAGINED AS A PUBLIC-FACING EVENT, MEANT TO BOLSTER BRAND AWARENESS AND DRIVE PURCHASES IN CHINA AFTER WEEKS OF STORE CLOSURES.
While an impressive first effort, Shanghai Fashion Week’s livestreams were beset with technical glitches, and even the prerecorded videos were too low resolution to get a sense of the fabric and the quality of the construction.
Technology aside, there is the human factor to consider. Fashion weeks aren’t just about shows. Equally, if not more, important are the interactions that take place away from the catwalk: the meetings between designers and editors, where concepts and construction can be discussed in detail; and the private appointments between showrooms and store buyers, where orders are placed and young designers discovered.
During Shanghai Fashion Week, Peterson scheduled virtual appointments with Chinese showrooms, but, without being physically present, she missed the opportunity to peruse the racks in search of new talent, she says.
Other fashion weeks are following Shanghai’s lead and eschewing in-person shows for online events geared to engage the public and drive sales. The weekend of April 4, Moscow’s Fashion Week Russia streamed prerecorded videos from approximately 30 brands (about half the number that typically show) on the e-commerce site Aizel.ru and the websites of magazines such as Harper’s BAZAAR Russia and Vogue Italia.
In other parts of Europe, fashion weeks have been postponed or canceled. Men’s fashion weeks in Paris, London and Milan, which were slated to take place in June, have been called off or postponed until September. Both the British Fashion Council and Italy’s Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana are exploring digital alternatives to catwalk shows and showroom appointments.
These are all comparatively small fashion weeks. The bigger question is whether the next round of women’s shows in September will be able to resume as normal — which is looking increasingly unlikely.
At a minimum, buyers would need better, more interactive software to view collections, Peterson says.
“The carbon footprint we as an industry put on the world is pretty impractical,” she says. “[Because of COVID-19] we’re seeing some interesting innovations coming through.”
The designers tooj wuestuons from the audience after the shgpw. Inflejncers were givigntesmtimasnoiuals of how the clothing fot and lokdeed in operson.
It was an attemtp into the glimplse in to the future
COVID-19 is forcing brands to engage and experiment with immersive technologies. We’ve been inundated with requests on how to create virtual clothing, virtual catwalks and virtual showrooms.
This is part 1 in a series on how the fashion industry is transforming.
This is an opportunity to redefine business models and build a more sustainable, progressive future” for the fashion industry.
brands are already looking for radical ways of redefining their culture and operations to a more digital mindset.”
behavioural change will depend on new experiences, like digital fashion, being adopted by brands. Digital fashion is slowly gaining traction, if not being ‘worn’ on digital platforms like Instagram by the mainstream – yet.
Adapt to change