The notable Paris Fashion Week kicked off its first-ever fully digital season on Monday. This alternative comes in as the fashion industry is figuring out the best way to navigate through the presence of the novel COVID-19 pandemic.
The highly anticipated event took place through virtual runways and showrooms. Instead of staging the usual catwalk extravaganza, world-renowned fashion houses including Hermés, DIOR, Valentino, Chanel, among others filmed videos to show case their new collections.
These were not normal times, Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri – the first woman to lead the iconic label – told AFP.
From July 6 to 13, top designers are set to present this year’s haute couture offerings via livestreams, films, and photographs
“And with a film, people are also likely to be more concentrated on the images rather than who is sitting in the front row,”
Maurizio Gelante, an Italian designer is keen on film and has described the livestream event as a “great chance for us to get to a wider public.”
According to Reuters, the federation grouping couture houses estimated that Paris’ multiple fashion week events generate some 1.35 billion dollars every year for the Parisian economy.
Though the digital option of streaming the event online has offered some hope for the participating brands, others who benefit have been affected. Guillaume Connan has a limousine company which would normally ferry A-list celebrities between shows. However, in the current event of things, this will not be possible for his company at this time. He said:
“The impact of a virtual fashion week on our business is serious because there are no more clients to drive around.”
Despite the effects of COVID-19 on travel and movement, some fashion houses are still hopeful. Frederic Hocquard who oversees tourism at Paris’ city council intimated that catwalk shows will likely resume in the city by September with some brands already booking venues.