Highly impacted by the current pandemic, the textile industry has been forced to modify its agenda for 2020, and more precisely, all the fashion shows planned by designers to present their collections. Some of the industry’s big players found other alternatives to face the issue while everyone is trying to navigate the pandemic, but the whole situation questions the future of Fashion. Is it going to become digital and more sustainable?

For decades, fashion week has been a fundamental event on the industry’s calendar. However, social distancing and the different precautions have no exception and fashion weeks are not excluded. Number of brands are going digital, including Burberry, Gucci and Prada that decided to have audience-free shows via livestream.

The industry was already converting into a drastic change, with all the critics concerning the brands’ ethics and sustainable approaches, the pandemic has forced fashion to rethink its overall system forcing some designer like Alessandro Michele for Gucci to leave the annual calendar permanently.

Image: Vogue/ Iris Van Harpen SS20

We are today living in a multidimensional world, where everything is digitalised. Our society has changed in the way it consumes and behaves and so does the need for fashion weeks too! The format needs to be digital and consequently accessible to a wider range of enthusiasts and professionals, and make it online would end the old privileged era and recreate a closer connection with consumers. Fashion probably needs a refreshment and a global update.

But of course, fashion is all about feeling the moment and the story behind the collection and the brand. And seeing a clothing behind a screen would probably not have the same emotional aspect as a proper physical show. Catwalks are those places where designers reconnect with the industry’s professionals and lovers, there is this beautiful symbiosis than can not be replicated virtually. Perhaps brands can agree on a middle ground and balance between both physical and digital and aim for a better change. Fashion weeks can be partially physical for example, which will turn into a more sustainable approach that combines the two and result into an innovative and modern future of fashion.

By Ines Aktouf

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