For post on 6/6/2020
This week, I watched another video from Vogue’s Global Conversations series. This conference, entitled “The Future of the Fashion Show” featured Olivier Rousteing of Balmain, Chloé’s Natacha Ramsay-Levi, and the CEO of Balenciaga, Cedric Charbit. It was hosted by Vogue Runway’s Nicole Phelps. They discussed how they operate their fashion shows and their importance to their brands, as well as where they see fashion shows going in the future.
Social media is one of the most important parts of today’s fashion show. For a company like Balenciaga, they hold a show with only 600 guests in attendance, but it is watched by over 10 million people online. Natacha Ramsay- Levi said that fashion shows are a “beautiful moment”, one where a show often has more people working backstage than sitting in attendance. She also talked about her desire to create fashion shows that are more accessible for the public to watch in person, rather than the traditional shows where guests are so limited.
An interesting possibility for fashion shows in the future comes from Anifa Mvuemba of Hanifa Offical for Black Design Collective. This fashion “show” uses digital renderings of the clothing in motion rather than putting it on a real model. Watching the clothing move without anyone inside it is almost eerie at first, but the video really captured the movement of the clothes and gave a similar atmosphere to a real fashion show. During a time when we can’t hold fashion shows, this is an amazing alternative.
One point I found very interesting was the importance designers placed on the opportunity that couture shows give them to experiment creatively. Fashion design is an art, but the need to produce marketable clothes for sale sometimes prevents designers from exploring to their full creative potential. Ramsay- Levi specifically noted this for Chloé’s brand.
Fashion companies need to be profitable to continue doing business, but it was clear in this conference that the representatives of these brands are there to execute a vision and create art first and foremost. Cedric Charbit of Balenciaga said “Business and results will come as a consequence, as opposed to the main goal.”.
I think this is a great mindset to have in the world of fashion, especially as we continue into the future. We are looking towards a world where people are more conscious of what they buy. We are becoming more critical of unsustainable production and pollution, and the fashion industry is no exception. This means customers are looking for a brand’s unique vision now more than ever. The marketplace is flooded with cheap, trendy clothes, so luxury brands need to lean into their creativity to stand out.
Overall, I really enjoyed listening to this conference to hear from some important people in the fashion industry. It was interesting to learn about how they saw the future of fashion shows within the context of their own brands. I hope that in the future we can create fashion shows that balance creativity and accessibility.