What Is The Future of Fashion Shows?

Image: Vogue

It's not just the current global pandemic that has the $4 billion fashion industry talking about the future of fashion shows and the bi-yearly extravaganzas that happen all around the world. The fashion capitals of the world descended on by thousands of editors, buyers, professionals, celebrities and influencers have a schedule that not only determines the year for the designers but also for the publishing houses, trickle-down to high street effect and the modelling industry to name a few. But have they become outdated and are we now looking at more virtual ways of creating and participating in these to reduce carbon emissions and make them more sustainable for both brands and their flocking attendees?

Fashion shows don't necessarily just show the newest collection, they also serve as a way to show a brands political, economical and cultural standpoint and express their reaction to world events, something that cannot be as easily replicated when invoking emotion within the online virtual space. The shows encompass the art and creative world as well as the fashion and beauty world, so gives these other industries a huge platform. Social media and the virtual space can never replace the human to human feeling and the whole experience of the atmosphere. The 'In Real Life' shows add to the experience and create priceless networking between influential figures, therefore making them more memorable and creating much higher brand loyalty and recognition, whilst also feeding the inspiration and collaboration of all those who attend. 

"The idea of a "genuine human experience" is something that could be lost in translation, making us feel more detached from the origination of the style dictating collections from the leading fashion houses."

However, if people refuse to attend shows then the industry will have no choice but to change and adapt and learn from how those non-attendees are now consuming their same 'fix' of the shows, answering to demand rather than predicting how people will interact in the future.  Although, if the shows and current calendars change, so does the yearly schedule of the publications, buyers, trickle down effect to the high-street, and this process would take years to get into a new rhythm. Technology is great but how can we create the human element of the experience when everything turns virtual. 

Now onto the sustainability aspect! The carbon footprint of the shows is extremely large and needs to be rectified, however this is also the jobs of the major airlines and travel companies to make travel more sustainable, not just to cancel global events and change the running of a billion dollar industry (in my opinion). 

Flying models, clothes, kit, editors and more all around the world to exotic locations can be costly not only financially but also to the environment so how do we make them more sustainable but also create the same 'in person' effect that they so dearly have coveted over the years? Many virtual aspects have been explored as well as social media taking a huge role in getting the wider audiences and has been embraced by many designers, some cancelling shows. 

However many will still love the tradition of the classic shows and all that they represent, so how do we modernise the Fashion Week's of the world?