Designers Continue to Forgo Conventional Fashion Week

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Designers Continue to Forgo Conventional Fashion Week


Over the past several weeks, news of more and more designers choosing alternatives to traditional fashion week shows has come to light, from changes in scheduling and location, to presentation and availability of product.

While changes in presentation have been revealed over the past year, including the implementation of see-now buy-now, designers continue to veer from convention and embrace new methods tailored to their needs and the desires of their clientele. Vera Wang, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger and Dolce e Gabbana are among the most recent designers to announce changes.

Wang announced last month that rather than a catwalk show, her new collection will be presented in a film on February 28th, the opening day of Paris Fashion Week. “It will be a bit of an ode to Paris” Wang noted regarding the film. The designer will receive the Legion d’Honneur that same afternoon from Gérard Araud, France’s ambassador to the United States. Wang is not the first to chose this route – Tom Ford made a splash last year by presenting his Spring/Summer 2016 womenswear collection in a film rather than a show.

Hugo Boss explained to investors that the decision not to participate this year was to allow the focus to be on creating the men’s ready-to-wear collection, calling it a, “strategic steps to orient its creation, marketing and communication activities more pointedly towards menswear.” The brand will also be closing smaller collections, including the Boss Green and Boss Orange lines, as part of the restructure.

Tommy Hilfiger, on the other hand, has simply moved his upcoming womenswear Spring 2017 show from New York to Los Angeles. The designer stated in a press release that, “The casual, cool, chic look that is leading the fashion world this season was born and bred in L.A., and I knew this show would feel at home on Venice Beach.” The show will include the collaboration brand Tommy x Gigi, a popular offshoot that premiered last year. Looks from the collaboration will be previewed on social media for followers to review and vote on, leading to the production, show and sale of the most popular looks. The collection will show on February 8, the day before New York Fashion Week begins, and will be available to purchase once the show ends.

Last Friday, Dolce e Gabbana presented their first co-ed show, which also happened to be in Tokyo – another first for the brand known so well for its love of all things Italian. This move was prompted by the idea of expanding the reach of Alta Moda to a broader audience. The brand has been expanding into new territory in other ways, opening the UAE region’s biggest Dolce e Gabbana boutique in Dubai earlier this year, and creating the Abaya collection.

All in all, the tradition of scheduled shows in the four major capitals has been and continues to be challenged. As technology advances and barriers worldwide deteriorate further, industries have been advancing alongside to reach these new audiences and become globally recognized. One wonders whether typical catwalk shows will become a hallowed event of the past, perhaps remaining largely in the more exclusive realm of haute couture.


Designers Continue to Forgo Conventional Fashion Week

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Written by Lillie Peterson

Lillie is a graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor's in Classics and a lifelong fascination for fashion and art. A freelance writer and artist, her hobbies include photography, design, drawing and blogging.

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