The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the luxury brand fashion show circuit in 2020. While the virus remains a major health concern globally, there are signs that things are slowly returning to normal this year. The show must go on. Despite many regions opening up, many luxury fashion events seem likely to remain a combination of digital and physical elements.
The following are the luxury fashion shows that are bound to dominate fashion news over the remaining months of 2021.
1. Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring/Summer (August 10-13, 2021)
Copenhagen Fashion Week may not be a part of the Big Four fashion weeks, but it remains one of the most exciting fashion events of the year. The luxurious mood of these events is also conveyed by exquisite event signs. Copenhagen Fashion Week highlights the Nordic fashion industry, and this season’s spring/summer show will feature 25 physical activations.
The shows will be digitally broadcast alongside nine fully digital shows and four physical-digital events. These will be interspersed with talks as well as live Q&A sessions.
Also, 38 brands will showcase on the official schedule with each day culminating in an 8:00 p.m. (CET) closing show. The Danish brand (di)vision will open the show schedule, while Henrik Vibskov closes it on August 12.
Recognizing the industry’s role in environmental conservation, the Copenhagen Fashion Week SS22 will be keeping with the Sustainability Action Plan it unveiled in January 2020.
2. New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer (September 8-12, 2021)
There are dozens of fashion weeks around the world. However, some have an outsized impact and have come to be referred to as the Big Four. These are: New York, London, Milan and Paris. Of the four, New York Fashion Week always kicks off the spring/summer circuit.
After two seasons in digital format, the New York Fashion Week is planning a bold return to an in-person show. Ulla Johnson opens, while the last slot traditionally reserved for Marc Jacobs has instead been assigned to Tom Ford. The Met Gala punctuates the fashion week on September 13.
In addition to the usual roster of luxury brands that make an appearance in New York, Peter Do, Dundas, Moschino and Rodarte will be hosting runway events as well.
This season will be the first time that the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the body governing the American fashion system, will officially be working with Endeavour Group’s IMG. IMG would usually organize its own schedule of fashion events at the same time as the CFDA’s schedule.
3. London Fashion Week Spring/Summer (September 17-21, 2021)
Like New York, London Fashion Week is also planning a return to in-person runway shows, but it will be a hybrid of physical and digital events. The week will incorporate catwalk shows, events, appointments and presentations spread across London. This is in addition to digital content that will be shared on the event’s official website.
London Fashion Week was previously invite-only, but the British Fashion Council (BFC) is planning to celebrate London’s reopening via a program of city-wide celebration. The idea is to support retail’s recovery, make British luxury fashion accessible to consumers and open up London Fashion week to new communities and audiences.
The sequence of events will include activations and events in partnership with key businesses, cultural institutions and retailers. More than 100 designers have confirmed participation.
4. Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer (September 21-27, 2021)
Organized by the National Chamber of Italian Fashion (CNMI), Milan Fashion Week will combine both physical and digital events as well. For Milan in particular, this was expected considering that Italy has been one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic.
Many Italian designers will be present. CNMI said in a statement that both the digital and physical events will maintain their focus on promoting Italian-made luxury fashion and demonstrate the value of the country’s manufacturing prowess.
In recent years, Milan Fashion Week has hosted several up-and-coming fashion talents who participated alongside global luxury fashion labels such as Versace, Gucci and Fendi. It is likely that the event will maintain this theme.
5. Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer (September 27–October 5, 2021)
Paris is one of the most important fashion capitals in the world. It is therefore unsurprising that Paris Fashion Week is considered a must-attend by many industry players. It is home to household names in the luxury world such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Hermes.
Paris Fashion Week is organized by the French Fashion Federation (FHCM) and aims to promote French fashion culture. One of the most notable events is expected to be Balmain’s runway event. Meant to celebrate creative director Oliver Rousteing’s 10-year anniversary with the luxury fashion house, it will have capacity to host as many as 3,400 people.
While the five events mentioned here are arguably the most important luxury fashion events of the latter half 2021, there’s more. These include Seoul Fashion Week (October 20-25), Arab Fashion Week (October 21-24) and Vancouver Fashion Week (October 24-25).
The COVID-19 pandemic remains a factor, however, so it is expected that most events will be either fully digital or blend digital and physical showcases. Either way, the first half of 2021 has demonstrated that the fashion industry is gearing up for a resurgence.
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