Designers fashion a go-slow future for catwalks and collections
From Armani to Gucci, top fashion houses are re-designing their calendars to slow down the frantic pace of catwalk shows and new collections, as the coronavirus pandemic forces a rethink of the way the industry works.
Luxury labels are scaling back the number of collections they show at fashion weeks across the year in London, Paris, Milan and New York or at other events in exotic locations.
After more than two months of lockdown, with shops shut across the globe and manufacturing sites idled, the $310 billion luxury goods sector is on course for a 2020 sales drop of up to 35 percent, consultancy Bain estimated.
Brands are grappling with piles of unsold stock and the prospect of widespread discounts that risk denting their aura of exclusivity as well as profits.
U.S. designer Michael Kors was the latest to call for a post-virus slowdown in the fashion calendar on Monday, as he pulled out of New York's shows in September.
He said he would only make two collections a year – one for spring/summer and one for fall/winter, skipping so-called resort and pre-fall collections that many high-end labels have recently begun producing to refresh stores in the winter and over summer.
These collections showcase holiday wear for foreign travel that jetsetters may have to forgo this year.
These have added to the number of designers' creations, capsules and collaborations that critics say are out of sync with consumers' needs, particularly in a global recession. A cruise or resort collection is typically shown in May and delivered to stores in November.
Robert Burke, founder of luxury retail consultancy Robert Burke Associates, said the move towards fewer collections fits with a consumer shift away from disposable fashion.
"Buying things that you know you'll only have for a short time period or go out of fashion immediately doesn't seem attractive right now.”