COVID pandemic disrupts 2021 men’s fashion week schedule

MPHO RANTAO

COVID-19 has changed every aspect of human life and the 2020 international fashion season is no different. 

The 2020 fashion season saw the traditional format of physical viewing for fashion week around the globe abandoned in favour of non-contact, digital fashion shows. 

Famous luxury designers like Hugo Boss, Chanel, Moschino and Louis Vuitton have all had to preview their collections for the 2020 fall/winter season through digital shows that were streamed live either on their websites, or on Instagram and Facebook. 

Other luxury fashion brands resorted to premiering their seasonal collections on Instagram as visual lookbooks, turning a week-long event into months-long digital shows that push designers to move into preparation mode to prepare for their next fashion shows which are fogged by uncertainty due to the covid outbreak.  

The sudden shift in how fashion week is being produced brings forth the question, what will happen in January 2021 when London’s men’s fashion week is supposed to show in London until mid-month in Paris?

The British Fashion Council (BFC) has brought forth a proposal to serve as an alternative for the impending dates. The proposal: Merge the shows. 

The London Fashion Week governing body has announced that they would officially merge the menswear and womenswear shows, to create a genderless fashion week, that would run from 19 February to 23 February 2021.

The chairperson for the BFC, Caroline Rush, said in a press release, “As the fashion industry moves towards a more sustainable and responsible future in line with the newly formed Institute of Positive Fashion (the BFC’s responsible fashion hub), our aim is to continue to redefine our fashion week model, embracing digital and technological innovation while offering ideas and solutions that will work for all designer businesses”. 

“Moving LFWM into LFW in February will continue to de-gender LFW, allow designers greater flexibility to consider what collection they show when and minimise travel requirements, taking us closer to a more sustainable future”.

Although not confirmed, the schedule of the shows is presumed to be digital, but the British Fashion Council have noted that there would be select in-person events. 

The council also noted that the format for the London Fashion Week will be their chosen genderless show format for the rest of the 2021 fashion season. 

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