With the use of technology growing, social media has allowed consumers to have immediate access to fashion week. What was once an exclusive event is now more accessible than ever.
In an age where shows are streamed live and are immediately available online, designers have to act quickly and ensure they are adapting to the ever-changing approaches to the fashion show.
“Digital content is now a key constituent of this service. Brands need to be excellent in designing and producing desirable fashion products, but also in harnessing the power of social media”, Posner (2015).
Many designers have changed with the times and have been able to successfully use new technologies to aid their shows. The traditional structure of fashion shows is still going through a major shakeup and mobile technology means that images from shows are instantly available and, to keep up, designers need to be able to shape their online narrative, using innovative technologies.
There have, however, been concerns in regard to the changing role of the fashion show and its purpose. The Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Business of Fashion, Imran Ahmed, has shared his concern for fashion shows, “It’s been a perennial topic for several seasons now: what’s the purpose of a fashion show in today’s world?”. It has been discovered that the attendees of fashion shows are now fixated on their phones, so much so, that no one notices that an actual fashion show is going on in front of them, until midway through. “People have to be aware of chasing the social-media dragon because not everyone and everything should be determined by Instagram likes,” says Shulman (2016, quoted in Conlon, 2016).
These platforms, which are often live-streamed, have put more pressure on the organisers of fashion shows, encouraging them to be innovative and ensuring competition amongst designers is greater than ever before. However, not all brands have familiarised themselves with these new platforms. Many have commented on how designers seem to think it is their priority to look at social media statistics, over and above the clothes, with elaborate digital backdrops and so on, potentially stifling the creativity of the brand.
The idea of the new ‘see now – buy now’ model is to make the new collection readily available in stores, therefore making collections more relevant to the time of year and increasing the chances of purchases before desire has dampened. Embracing fashion’s new pace is Donatella Versace, “That’s the world today and fashion is about change and evolution. I love the immediacy of life today and how the doors of fashion are opening up so everyone can feel part of a global tribe.”
Despite many designers and industry professionals supporting the new model, negative comments have also been made towards it. According to Vogue, Karl Lagerfeld is said to have commented on the new model as being “a mess” and “chaos”. Supporting Lagerfeld’s views, many of the world’s biggest luxury houses – including Dior, Chanel, Chloé, Isabel Marant, Balenciaga and Lanvin – have already opted out of the new system. Research has provided views on the new model with lots of negative criticism.
We are looking forward to seeing how Fashion week evolves for the next decade.