One more meeting that will not take place. Fashion Week scheduled for January in London, traditionally dedicated to men’s collections, is canceled due to the pandemic, Brexit, and a desire to redesign this men’s fashion event, announced The British Fashion Council, Thursday, October 29 .
Four events usually punctuate the fashionista calendar: two Fashion Weeks for men’s collections, in January and June, and two more for women’s collections, in February and September. But this year, only three of those four dates are kept. The next one is scheduled from Friday February 19 to Tuesday February 23, 2021 and menswear designers are encouraged to participate. The shows will therefore bring together both men’s and women’s collections.
Since June, Fashion Week has been gender neutral. Men’s, women’s or mixed collections are highlighted without distinction. This decision “was taken in light of the current environment linked to Covid-19, the challenges related to the movement of goods, samples and people in the single market and the customs union after Brexit, and surveys and tables rounds with designers “, is it justified in the BFC press release.
Although the UK left the European Union last January, the UK government is still negotiating their future trade relationship with the EU. Discussions with the outcome still uncertain while the country is supposed to come out of its transition period on December 31.
To compensate for the cancellation of the physical presentation, the new collections will be able to scroll on the Fashion Week website. The showrooms of the various designers will take a virtual form, accessible and updated throughout the year. Dylan Jones, President “Menswear “ (men’s clothing) at BFC, is convinced “That this move will help designers reach more people through the London Fashion Week digital platform, while allowing them to do business as early as January outside of trade fair dates.”
This reorganization of Fashion Week also comes in full introspection for the fashion industry, called under pressure from environmental activists and in particular members of Extinction Rebellion, to stop the rampant production of clothing. “As the fashion industry moves towards a more sustainable and responsible future, (…) our goal is to continue to redefine our fashion week model, leveraging digital and technological innovation, while delivering ideas and solutions that will work for all fashion businesses. “, said Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council.
The fashion sector employs more than 890,000 people every year. In 2019, it contributed £ 35 billion (€ 39 billion) to the UK’s GDP. Faced with the economic impact of the pandemic, the BFC has set up an emergency fund of one million pounds (1.09 million euros) to help designers, on the verge of extinction.