Cancelled shows, skipped sales, closed stores… The least that can be said is that the fashion industry has been put through endless hardships in this pandemic year. Never has the world known such events, leaving most pre-existing companies with unprecedented consequences. So, given this context, how is the fashion world going to face the unavoidable changes ahead? Will seasons still be relevant in the future?
Seasons are not relevant anymore
The fashion system has been relying on seasonality for decades, basing itself on European climate. You can purchase your next winter wardrobe during summer, while your new sundress may appear when it’s still rainy outside. In a way, it makes sense, because you’re able to anticipate your wardrobe.
However, this concept is growing into obsolescence as time goes. Yes, because globalization has made travelling easier, and that means Europe attracts wealthy tourists from all over the world, willing to splurge on the latest trends luxury has to offer.
Imagine a Saudi woman visiting Paris in October. She more than likely will have coats and boots as options in stores, while she’s going back to a desertic country. See where the issue lies?
“The time is now. There is no good reason to follow a calendar developed years ago when everything was completely different.”
Towards a continuous system?
Fashionistas are expecting more consistency in drops, since we’re being bombarded non-stop on social media with new trends. As lifestyles are being less and less controlled by a strict calendar. If the weather allows it, it’s not crazy anymore to go to the beach in January (global warming has a role to play in this).
Saint Laurent has recently announced that it will skip next Paris Fashion Week and focus on working with its own calendar. This means a huge change is coming, other major houses probably willing to follow the initiative.
“Saint Laurent will take ownership of its calendar and launch its collections following a plan conceived with an up-to-date perspective, driven by creativity.”
Like Azzedine Alaïa did back in the day, designers may start working following inspiration and provide smaller, more intimate fashion shows in a less regular way. In my point of view, this is a positive outcome for fashion. It brings back a priority on qualitative design and innovation. Maybe that would help brands focus more on their identity instead of rushing to fulfill the calendar’s expectations.