The luxury calendar followed by fashion brands around the world went out the window with the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic. While many brands, including Gucci and Michael Kors, have announced that they would be nixing traditional runway shows and fashion weeks, one brand is sticking to the status quo while adapting to modern times.
London Fashion Week still has the green light to occur in the fall, but after numerous designers and trade groups expressed concerns over in-person events, the programs are going digital. Top British luxury brand Burberry has now announced that it too will continue with a fall runway show, but is transforming the event into an “immersive experience set in the British outdoors”. Burberry is kicking off its show on September 17, the day before London Fashion Week is set to begin. The brand will unveil its Spring/Summer 2021 collection, with only models and the brand’s team onsite at the runway show.
For many, the outdoors have proven a wistful escape during Coronavirus lockdowns, making the show’s theme of reconnecting with nature a timely one. The show will also be completely carbon-neutral, as Burberry looks to fully embrace its nature-centric and sustainable theme. This could help the label attract more viewers as a Gartner report found the pandemic has left consumers more concerned about production ethics and sustainability in luxury fashion. Furthermore, though runway shows are typically exclusive events, Burberry will be livestreaming the experience for all. By having a digital show, the brand can open up the event to fashionphiles from around the world, which could increase consumer engagement and raise awareness for its latest collection.
Burberry is the first major label to confirm it would still be holding a runway show, which was slightly unexpected given numerous luxury brands, such as Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs, had already announced their plans to forgo this year’s fashion circuits. Additionally, several cities, including Sydney and Shanghai, canceled their fashion weeks in the wake of the pandemic. However, with Burberry’s pledge to continue holding a formal runway show, more brands could follow suit and re-strategize their shows to fit the current fashion climate.
Despite having no attendees, Burberry’s Spring/Summer 2021 runway show could be its most-watched yet. The brand’s dedication to unveiling its collection on a traditional timeline could provide a sneak peek at what the future of runway fashion looks like while encouraging luxury lovers that all is not lost.