In the aftermath of the announcement of the first extension of the confinement due to COVID-19, on March 17 the French Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion announced the official cancellation of Paris Fashion Week, which was supposed to take place from June 23 to 28, as well as the couture in early July; following the British Council of Fashion, which also cancelled London June Fashion Week.
The fashion sector, seriously affected by this global crisis and the closure of “non-essential” shops, is facing a problem of reorganization of its activity for the upcoming collections. This raises many questions: what collection-presentation strategy will brands choose, when and where? In a showroom in Paris in September? Will a capsule collection of men’s fashion be added to their presentation in a private showroom in autumn? How many collections per year will the brands be able to finance?
In a recent interview with Business Of Fashion, Pascal Morand, the executive director of the French fashion federation said “it’s still too early to know exactly what will happen, it depends on many factors” before adding that it would be also possible that brands couldn’t be able to produce as many collections this year.
According to industry experts and several clients working with MR Agency, it seems that brands that present their men’s and women’s collections four times a year have decided to focus their efforts on the women’s Fashion Week next September and thus present some pieces of their men’s collection through capsules or small cruise collections in their showrooms, galleries or private apartments in Paris. On the other hand, for the men’s brands that presented their former collection in January 2020 the question remains open, as it seems challenging for them to present their latter collection in next January. Indeed, according to Business of Fashion, the men’s fashion week in Milan will most likely merge with the women’s fashion week that is scheduled to take place in next September.
Many questions remain unanswered today, as the international coronavirus epidemic will seriously affect sales in the fashion industry whether in stores or in private showrooms, such as MR Agency’s network. Even if online trade continues insofar as possible, the almost total stop of the economy has caused unsold inventories globally, but also a delay in the design-making of new prototypes needed for the development of future collections. The general public is also asking the question of what is necessary or not, returning to basic needs in this period of global pandemic. One thing is certain: fashion today is mobilizing to face this health crisis. Many operations have been carried out to raise funds, such as those supported by the Vanity-Fair group or “A Common Thread” by CFDA/Vogue.