© Reuters Fewer runway events, Paris fashion week welcomes the digital age
By Sarah White and Michaela Cabrera
PARIS (Reuters) – When Swedish fashion brand Acne Studios last hosted a catwalk program in Paris in January, they purchased tons of vegan-friendly rice bowls from coffee shop and catering service owner Pearlyn Lee for a selectable design and team backstage.
However, such orders have dried up as the pandemic has required most luxury labels to cancel celebrations and discussions.
Even as some of the world’s biggest brand names returned to Paris on Monday, some of them were preparing for physical shows, punches for makeup artists, lighting professionals, catering services and many other companies in the fashion system.
“Basically catering is missing for us. And I’m not sure when it will come back, ”said Lee, who only recently expanded his kitchen area in 2015 through a crowdfunding project.
Starting Monday, 85 brand names will feature women’s clothing throughout Paris Fashion Week. Only 19 people – among them Chanel and LVMH’s Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton – continue to move forward with a socially distant vanguard.
Others have little discussion by visiting, or streaming videos.
Beginner designers can’t pay to work with large locations for small audiences or the danger of last-minute cancellation, says Stephane Vienne, of production and press firm Mephistopheles.
None of Mephistopheles’ 14 clients most regularly hold full events next week. In a typical year, each event will cost a minimum of 30,000 to 40,000 euros.
“We usually do four shows a day, our entire budget comes from these shows,” Vienne told Reuters.
MOVIE SETTINGS AND IMAGES
However, he claims that positive returns will be drawn once again in the long run, as brand names seek to reach consumers practically.
Her business is producing fashion films, not standard programs with audiences, inside the 19th century Hotel Le Marois for the Polish label La Metamorphose
This majestic location has also been transformed, updating its system to attract businesses looking to stream events live from its complex spaces, said website supervisor Valerie Taieb.
But even small celebrations have gotten more complex as coronavirus cases in France increase and obstacles to events grow tighter.
“The fashion sector and the event industry have been completely forgotten in this crisis,” said Taieb. His group of about 20 has actually recently returned to part-time work, and is still relying on the state’s partial unemployment assistance.
On the La Metamorphose strive at the Hotel Le Marois, 25-year-old Tiffany Fournier claims some of her work has really dried up too, although she’s still running publicity and marketing campaigns.
“I haven’t done a catwalk since February,” said Fournier.
Some of the major brand names have actually pressed for physical events where perhaps partly to support other providers and companies. Designers also want to maintain connections with buyers and media experts.
“There is energy and joy, there is music, the first models appear on the catwalk, applause at the end,” said Alexandre Mattiussi, developer of the French brand AMI. “It doesn’t exist in digital format.”
AMI is gearing up to hold a program on October 3, with fewer than 150 visitors instead of 600 to 700.
“It will be a very beautiful wedding,” said Mattiussi.