Paris Fashion Week 2021 Goes Digital During COVID

Nilam Mukherjee | January 14, 2021 | Style & Beauty


Are digital shows the future of fashion? It's certainly the direction many designers are taking amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

With much of Europe still on lockdown, Paris Fashion Week is the latest in a string of global industry events to feel the impact - but the show must go on, and so digital runways are en vogue.

See also: Fashion Week Went Virtual This Year—Here's How It Went

According to the Associated Press, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode will not allow guests for this season, as instructed by Paris Police.

“We confirm that there can be no public gatherings,” the federation is quoted. “Houses can still organize ‘real’ runway shows with models broadcast live, provided that their events take place behind closed doors.”

In addition to Paris Fashion Week going digital, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana and Etro shows have all gone guest-free. Milan Fashion week has also significantly cut down the number of participating brands.

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Digital shows aren’t new to the fashion world. Many designers and brands have turned the pandemic into an opportunity to display more artistic freedom, cleverly showcasing their pieces through different media in the forms of music videos, short films and even via 3D modeling.

Designers such as Thierry Mugler and companies like Balenciaga, Hanifa and Maison Margiela are just a few examples of brands uniquely digitizing both current and upcoming collections. Balenciaga debuted their Summer 21 Pre-collection in a music video that featured a couple of models strutting down the dimly-lit streets of Paris. In a similar fashion, Maison Margiela produced a mini film for their ‘Co-Ed’ collection, allowing the viewer a sneak peek at the genius behind the new season of fashion.

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A runway without models is the new norm. Taking full advantage of technology, Hanifa generated a unique fashion show late last year using invisible (3D) models to walk down the catwalk. Meanwhile, Mugler’s latest Spring/Summer 2021 collection took their audience through a futuristic experience, mixing in computer-generated imagery to create a digital version of model Bella Hadid.

Read the full statement on Paris Fashion Week via the Associated Press.

Photography by: Edward Berthelot