This week Saint Laurent said it would be skipping Paris Fashion Week and creating its own schedule to showcase its collections to the wider world.
Consider this anarchic move the start of something big: the beginning of the end of ‘Fashion Week’.
Saint Laurent is, of course, owned by the French conglomerate, Kering, which also owns Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Brioni. Conversations about Saint Laurent will not be happening in isolation (so to speak). This will be part of a wider strategy change that will affect all their luxury labels. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they will now all immediately abandon fashion week, but it’s a sign that the brands have decided to take ownership of how they present themselves to the world. They will no longer be tied to a weird two or four times a year schedule that we all know isn’t fit for purpose. The global pandemic is giving them an opportunity, a reason and the impetus to change.
For all its talk of individuality, the fashion industry is constantly looking at what its neighbours are doing. So expect this to have a ripple down effect.
What does this mean for the brands you work with as PRs?
I’d suggest: act now. Be the consultant or agency who is initiating a conversation about how your clients and brand can showcase their work going forward. Make yourself an integral part of the conversation and the strategy. The sun is out and this is the time for blue sky thinking.