Online shopping in the past few years has arguably become the most accessible way for consumers to update their wardrobes and keep up with fashion trends. In quarantine, the desire to online shop is heightened by the fact that it’s something tangible and exciting to look forward to - for those who are stuck at home, shopping becomes not only a hobby, but the delivery is actually exciting. Content creators in particular have been focused on updating their social media accounts at home, and are often ordering new outfits for photoshoots. Moreover, online shopping is every introvert’s dream: as our world becomes more digital, and our needs can be met more quickly and efficiently if we don’t leave the house, the pull for ordering clothes online is indisputable.
Luxury brands have definitely been stepping up to the plate in terms of encouraging consumers to order their products online in the last few years. One thing I’ve noticed as a consumer is the tendency of luxury brands to be elusive and creative on social media, rather than outwardly marketing their products. Gucci is an excellent example of this, as their Instagram revolves around creative photoshoots and editorial-style pictures, without the option to buy the clothes highlighted in the picture. However, their website is tailor made for online shopping. This seems to be the model for various high-end brands, as they draw in consumers with creativity and seal the deal with online accessibility.
They understand their brands are more compelling when they don’t attempt to convince consumers to buy their products - they nonchalantly tease their audience with glimpses into the world of high fashion, daring them to shop online.
When online shopping was first introduced, there was a tendency to assume that consumers would gravitate solely towards low end-middle end products. This makes sense: without actually trying something on, feeling fabric or textiles in your hand, or analyzing how an article holds your body, it can be difficult to commit to an expensive purchase. Luxury brands have adapted to this by adding style guides to each article, adding details on how the product should fit, and sometimes having the option to book an online consultation to ensure you receive your perfect fit. If dissatisfied, customers can also often return their purchase for free.
As our cultural psyche accepts online shopping as the norm, luxury brands have been consistently stepping up and making the experience easier for consumers. I’m excited to see how high-end brands, led by people of colour in particular, innovate and contribute to the development of the online shopping experience.
Runway shows have been around for decades, yet they are always changing. What started as model statues posing in couture has evolved to full-scale theatrical productions. Yet no matter how outrageous or minimal the some shows turn out, they are always true emulations of the brands identity. From the music, to the lighting, each show corresponds to a theme that the creative director senselessly thought out. Then the pandemic hit, and everything started to change once again. Designers were forced to make rapid creative decisions for how to showcase their Cruise, Spring/Summer 2021 and all the collections in between. Some decided to go virtual, or postpone their events. Others, have scrapped the entire tradition of fashion week and decided to create their own fashion calendars.
Dior’s Cruise 2021 collection will have a private showing to friends and family of the brand on July 22. For the Spring 2021 Haute Couture show, they will be following the trend of a digital presentation on July 6. As for the spring/summer 2021, brand CEO Pietro Beccari hopes to have a small, traditonal runway showing. Source:
Burberry plans to have an outdoor runway show for Spring 2021 in London in September, chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci told WWD. This show, like Dior, will only be open to the models and members of the team. The show will also be streamed digitally, as the British Fashion Council made arrangements for doing so for both their June and September designers presentations.
Michael Kors announced they will be stepping back from traditional fashion weeks and hosting their fashion shows sometime between October and November, according to Vogue. In a statement to the magazine, Kors says he has waited, “for a long time thought that the fashion calendar needs to change. It's exciting for me to see the open dialogue within the fashion community about the calendar — from Giorgio Armani to Dries Van Noten to Gucci to YSL to major retailers around the globe — about ways in which we can slow down the process and improve the way we work.”
Gucci and Saint Laurent have also canceled their fashion month shows in favor of their own schcedules. Both announced their plans in instagram posts a month a part. Gucci’s designer Alessandro Michele stated that there be no more pre-collections — instead, only two lines a year.
Off White’s plans to close the gap between showing and selling consists of a debut in January, rather than the Spring 2021 shows at Paris Fashion Week. This allows for the products to be on the shelves only a month after the show.
Valentino just announced they will be showing at Paris’ digital couture week on JUly 8th and will have a live event in Rome on July 21. The creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli plans to unveil his inspiration for the collection in the digital portion, and have the live event be strictly Italian press. The live event will also be streamed live on their social channels.
Dolce&Gabbana, Alta Sartoria and Alta Moda are joining together for a combined fashion show event in Florence in September. The show, which is being hosted by Pitti Immagine and the City of Florence, will be steamed live on website platforms.
Alexander Wang has established its own fashion calendar way before it was a trend among designers. Since 2018, the brand has only hosted two shows, one in June and one in December. Therefore, the pandemic’s changed hardly affects their plans.