Today the British Fashion Council (BFC) announced a detailed response to the changing fashion landscape. The group has repositioned its entire schedule under one gender-neutral umbrella, merging its women’s and men’s calendars into a digital platform, London Fashion Week.
London Fashion Week will relaunch for both trade and consumer audiences, with a three-day showcase from June 12 to 14.
There will be four iterations a year — in January, February, June and September. Each program will feature product from both current and upcoming seasons. Whether the events will have a physical component is still to be determined. As reported, the coronavirus impact has upended the fashion calendar, with nearly every in-person event through June being scrapped.
“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,” BFC CEO Caroline Rush said in a statement. “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.”
Despite the traditional time frame — which mirrors the current men’s and women’s fashion calendar — the gender-neutral aspect means designers will have the flexibility to decide when they want to show according to what works best for their brand.
The platform will host exclusive multimedia content from designers, creatives, artists and brand partners. This will take the form of interviews, podcasts, designer diaries, webinars and digital showrooms.
Crucially, it will serve as an opportunity to generate sales for both current season and next season collections from public and retailers alike. To this end, BFC has engaged a number of digital brands, including Amazon Launchpad, Facebook, Google, Instagram and YouTube, alongside virtual wholesale platforms Joor and Ordre/Orb365. All will be activating content to help businesses reach consumer and trade audiences — and bridge the gap between current and upcoming seasons.
During a recent interview with FN, Sergio Rossi CEO Riccardo Sciutto observed that fashion will undergo seismic change in the next six months. “All the trends that already moved last year will be accelerated, and the next six months will be like two years in a normal situation,” he said.