11 Sep The Show Must Go On. New York Fashion Week 2020 Goes Virtual!
The future of Fashion Week around the world is evolving. In the wake of a global pandemic, the future of all in-person events is in question. During the Vogue Global Conversations back in April, the topic for Day 2 was The Future of Fashion Shows, where the biggest names in the fashion industry discussed how they will be pivoting for future shows, events, and collection presentations for the remainder of 2020 and possibly 2021. During his segment in the Zoom hosted panel, Marc Jacobs announced that he would not be presenting at New York Fashion Week in the Fall of 2020 and mentioned that he wasn’t sure if there would be an S/S 2021 Collection at all. This left us with so many questions, including, what does the future of the fashion industry altogether hold?
Bella Hadid in Michael Kors’ Spring 2020 collection. Associated Press
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a statement in late August that under New York State health and safety guidelines, outdoor events will be capped at 50 people and indoor events at 50 percent capacity with no spectators. With that said, the biggest fashion event in New York and precursor the global Fashion Month events will have to pivot in order to show the next seasons’ collections to buyers and shoppers alike. NYFW for Spring 2021 will be unlike any other season, with most shows and going virtual, and with much more access to the public than ever before. Most designers will be taking on hybrid formats for their fashion shows, including livestreams, look books, videos, and other digital activations. Most design houses will also include free events and programming that people can access digitally.
During the Vogue Global Conversations on the Future of Fashion Shows, Balmain’s Creative Director Olivier Rousteing stated, “When you think about digital, you bring just images that can be strong but it’s not a real experience. We still need that emotion. 600 people in the room are not representing the community, there are so many who dream of fashion so I’d love to open the experience to more than 600 guests list. Digital fashion shows and real fashion shows, I see them differently. I don’t see digital less emotional but an experience where you can push your dreams to the next level, it can be to the moon or in the sky.” Rousteing continued, “I want to change the experience and be more entertainment, you can create a performance with artists and models.” Meanwhile, the CEO of Balenciaga Cédric Charbit sees the opportunity of a wider audience and increased reach. “600 people attend a fashion show every season. If you look at the digital audience, considering the live streaming via youtube, Instagram and Twitter combined together we have an audience of about 10million viewers. 600 vs 10 million is striking as a number.”, expressed Charbit.
Image sourced from RUNWAY360. Anthony Boyd Graphics/Courtesy Photo
Though the events of NYFW bring millions of dollars to the city, between event venues, hired employees, paid models, hair and makeup, production staff, among others, and not to mention hotels, restaurants, and entertainment, the current situation will continue to take a toll on the local and national economy, without a doubt. This is no different to the sacrifices other cities have made during the coronavirus pandemic, like San Antonio with Fiesta and Austin with ACL, and other music, film, and other festivals across the nation. But when we think about the toll these types of events take on our resources and the environment, another topic of conversation takes place: sustainability. “All the fashion federations should commit to reevaluating the business value of the way this industry is made. There is something about the waste we can’t keep pushing. We pollute so much, we can’t waste materials, but we cannot either waste creativity. The next product I’ll buy has to be relevant.”, said Creative Director of Chloè, Natacha Ramsay-Levi. As the fashion industry rises in the ranks as the second most polluting industry in the world, fashion designers and houses are taking this time to reevaluate their priorities when it comes to becoming more sustainable for the sake of humanity. “The waste comes from a system. You have new collections, you make a product that it’s relevant and you try to make it in a sustainable way and, in 3 months, is supposed to be discounted in stores and not relevant anymore for the market. We can’t reuse the fabrics we buy because people have already seen that. That’s criminal. It’s also a waste of creativity when products lose their value so quickly. So we have to be sustainable in the way we produce, that takes time, but we need to be aware of our waste.”, stated Ramsay-Levi in the conversation.
We at Style Lush TV had begun to make plans to attend NYFW this Fall as we were applying to attend as press, earlier this year. Of course, all of those plans fell apart when the closure started in March. In fact, we have announced here, as part of the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative, our plans to produce the first Texas Fashion Week have been halted as we look toward 2021. We are absolutely looking forward to watching all of the digital and livestreamed events this coming week and report to you all the trends we love for SS 2021. We asked some of our favorite local fashionistas who have made the annual pilgrimage to NYFW and will be staying put this year. Here’s what our local fashion community had to say in regards to the new format and how they feel about having to skip out on the season they look forward to every year.
Adriana Alvarez-Tostado – The Toasty Life
Photo sourced via IG @thetoastylife
Adriana Alvarez-Tostado of The Toasty Life expressed in her Instagram stories that though she had been invited to attend NYFW, she finds it wouldn’t be responsible to fly to the city to attend events. She stated that unless you live there, making the trip would not be a wise move, for multiple reasons. “The economy does need a boost, but I believe we should be protecting small businesses, including restaurants, and not events that could pose a higher risk of spread and can be held virtually. Fashion Week gets packed and has proven to create surges as we saw in other countries, and businesses end up suffering with more shutdowns, affecting the global economy in the end.”, Alvarez-Tostado told us exclusively.
Rose Ferreira – Lizo Style
Photo sourced via IG @lizostyle
We caught up with stylist and blogger Rose Ferreira, and she has so many wonderful projects in the works this Fall, so missing NYFW gave her inspiration to do more locally-based activities to support our local economy.”It saddens me that this September I won’t be able to celebrate Fashion Month like other years, but at the same time, it gave me the motivation to start a project in my own city.
Photo sourced via IG @yayisvc
Yayis Villarreal has been attended NYFW only last year but she’s definitely missing the in-person experience. “It’s definitely different when you are in NYFW. It’s not only the runway, but the passion and vibe you experience there in person!”, said the model and influencer. For me “I actually got invited to an in-person show on Monday, but it was a small presentation for about 15 people. They were ensuring social distancing and proper measures like taking temperature, but to be honest, I just felt it would be best to stay home and cover as much as I could online instead of going in person.” said Villareal. She’s excited to be able to watch the virtual shows, but she will miss that experience. She predicts a huge change in the industry where designers will present a lot less times per year. She believes in the importance of shows. When asked why, she said, “I used to dance ballet since I was 2. I used to train and prepare for recitals as it was the biggest day. So right now, imagine preparing and working so hard on your collection and not being able to show it off in a big way. I just think it’s so much more than just a runway.”
Delia Atenea Hickman – Momma Loves Fashion Blog
Photo sourced via IG @mommalovesfashionblog
Blogger and frequent NYFW attendee didn’t hold back expressing her love for in-person fashion shows. “There’s NOTHING like experiencing fashion week live and in person!”, said Hickman. “Getting to experience of all the latest collections and trends firsthand! Not only that, but the streetstyle vibe is insane, and getting to spot all the celebrities at different shows is so fun! I do think it’s great that more people will be able to see the shows virtually, however I’m curious to see if Fashion Weeks will remain virtual forever because there’s just something about a live, in-person fashion runway show that creates major excitement for the brand!”
For the full New York Fashion Week line up, visit NYFW.com.