Should Cancelled Fashion Weeks Follow China's Digital Pivot?

    Chinese netizens took to social media to express their disappointment over cancelled fashion weeks.
    European fashion weeks are challenged to quickly adopt digital strategies. Illustration: Haitong Zheng/Jing Daily. Composite Imagery: Tom Ford.
    Jennifer ZhuangAuthor
      Published   in Fashion

    What happened

    Anticipating the continued and devastating effects of COVID-19, fashion committees globally announced a cancellation in the upcoming men’s fashion weeks in Paris and London. Milan's men's fashion week has been postponed until September and will merge with women’s Ready-to-Wear. Furthermore, the federations indicated plans to explore digital alternatives to these events.

    In China, some netizens on Weibo called this a “once-in-a-lifetime overturn of the industry,” while others grieved the absence of their favorite Chinese celebrities and models from the events. Despite a general disappointment, many were supportive of the safety-conscious decision. The global pandemic has hitherto impacted numerous schedules including the Met Gala and other runway shows, a mass disruption of the fashion industry unprecedented in modern fashion history.

    Our take:#

    Jing Daily previously covered Shanghai Fashion Week’s successful pivot to digital, which harvested the power of livestreaming, online influencers, global brand campaigns and local e-commerce collaborations. The committees helming the men’s fashion weeks have an opportunity to follow in Shanghai's footsteps and similarly, transition to digital. By exploring online opportunities that reach wider audiences, fashion weeks can amplify their influence. This is also a more environmentally sustainable way to present fashion collections. As the instant sellouts of luxury brand collections released on social media recently attest, the ‘see now, buy now’ trend can offer great untapped commercial potential for the organizers of men’s week - provided they come up with a strategy, fast.

    The Jing Take reports on a leading piece of news while presenting our editorial team’s analysis of its key implications for the luxury industry. In this recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debates that sprout up on Chinese social media.

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