Owing to Covid-19, businesses that capitalize on big social gatherings have had to reevaluate their business models. In particular, the fashion world had to grapple with the idea of not hosting any more fashion weeks for the rest of the year leaning towards 2021.
In South Africa, Africa Fashion International was cut short and designers got to showcase their collections online through the AFI social media pages. Around the world, fashion brands and fashion weeks have had to consider moving towards offering a digital and virtual experience for fashion enthusiasts.
From what I have read, there isn’t much mention of a pay-to-access model for the proposed digital fashion week which have been occurring around the world since April. London Fashion Week went digital from the 12th to 14thJune and you can stream fashion content by designers that range from fashion films to look at books on their website.
Notably, the South African Menswear SS21 is set to go digital for dates 29-31 July 2020. Likewise, Milan Fashion Week this year will have a special digital edition called Milano Fashion Week starting from the 14th to 17th of July.
Googling ‘how to get an invite to fashion week’ will give you an idea of how exclusive and important gaining access to Fashion Week around the world has always been. The front row paparazzi-esque images are a dream for a lot of fashion influencers and enthusiasts. But these seats are generally reserved for VIP guests and depending on who you are even an invite would not score you that reservation.
I have been to one fashion week because of knowing a friend who knew a designer. But you can generally buy tickets online for access to fashion week. The point is that exclusitivity has always been the pull for fashion week. So, the digital era of fashion week will do away with that.
With the limitation on social gatherings, it was inevitable that fashion week would have to go digital and be more accessible. Setting up a fashion week is expensive and this is reflected in the ticket prices. As a result, a lot of people find themselves demotivated from purchasing tickets to go see fashion shows to support designers.
The introduction of a digital version of fashion week will make a lot of fashion enthusiasts happy. But, I hope this new accessibility will also allow for more people to invest and support their favourite designers (especially local designers) by creating brand awareness through sharing the new digital content and buying their items.
Watch, subscribe, and share the collections by your favourite during this new form of fashion week brought to you to the comfort of your own home.