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RIP Fashion Week: Digital Runways Are Here To Take Over

The glamour of fashion weeks, street style and front rows simply cannot exist in a world where we have to socially-distance ourselves for a period that seems indefinite. In retrospect, keeping the carbon emissions, biannual shows across the four fashion capitals and age old seasonal calendar in mind, it was apparent that fashion weeks were long overdue for an overhaul. Fortunately, Covid-19 has been the harbinger of a new digital revolution for the industry — one that is here to stay in perpetuity. 

Earlier this month, the Business of Fashion brought forth a proposal to rewire the fashion system around a fresh set of principles that include revising the fashion calendar, reimagining fashion shows and kicking the habit of constant discounting. This move was quickly welcomed and supported by designers worldwide while bigwigs like Gucci and Saint Laurent swore off the fashion calendar altogether by pledging to go seasonless. With digital shows instantly being embraced by brands, last week we saw designer Hanifa put on a virtual fashion show for her latest ‘Pink Label Congo’ collection on her brand’s Instagram handle using 3D models, a move that has been hailed as “groundbreaking” by industry critics. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Anifa Mvuemba of Hanifa claimed that designing content using 3D models, in addition to an entire collection, has been a complete game changer for her and that “it actually requires an even greater amount of attention-to-detail for the clothes to fit and look just right,” she said. 

Late last year, the world’s first digital clothing and circular economy concept store ‘Hot Second’ ran a pop-up event in London where visitors were give the chance to try on, but not purchase, digital garments in exchange for an unwanted item of clothing. Hot Second founder and futurist, Karinna Nobbs asserts that, “the future will be about convergence and merging of the digital and physical worlds. We will see this polarisation of old-school traditional luxury, which is more analogue and physical, and new generation luxe, which is hyper digital,” she quoted in an interview with South China Morning Post.

With Paris, Milan, and London Fashion Week, all heading in the digital direction for their upcoming shows, embracing the intangible will slowly become the new norm. 

Published by: Vibhuti Vazirani/ 2020-05-27

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