Whether or not we emerge from lockdown next month, it’s clear that coronavirus will have a long-lasting impact on the retail landscape. The pandemic has also forced the fashion industry, famed for its creativity, to come up with new ways of supporting and showcasing its talent. Notably, the British Fashion Council has today announced that London Fashion Week will merge its womenswear and menswear showcases into one digital-only platform this June.
‘It is essential to look at the future and the opportunity to change, collaborate and innovate. Many of our businesses have always embraced London Fashion Week as a platform for not just fashion but for its influence on society, identity and culture,' the BFC’s Chief Executive, Caroline Rush, says. She points out the pandemic’s unusual circumstances has created an opportunity to think in a more sustainable mindset. ‘The current pandemic is leading us all to reflect more poignantly on the society we live in and how we want to live our lives and build businesses when we get through this. The other side of this crisis, we hope will be about sustainability, creativity and product that you value, respect, cherish. By creating a cultural fashion week platform, we are adapting digital innovation to best fit our needs today and something to build on as a global showcase for the future.’
This doesn’t mean that the September schedule is cancelled. Designers are being given the choice to either present their work in June or September, with more information about how and what they’re planning to ‘show’ coming next month. Instead of a traditional collection, it could be anything from fashion films and interviews to podcasts and digital showrooms.
‘Designers will be able to share their stories, and for those that have them, their collections, with a wider global community,' Caroline says. 'We hope that as well as personal perspectives on this difficult time, there will be inspiration in bucketloads. It is what British fashion is known for.'