MILAN — Alessandro Michele couldn’t wait.
While Gucci’s creative director scheduled a teleconference with press on Monday, Michele posted a teaser on the brand’s Instagram account that is sure to reverberate in the industry.
Tearing a page out of his diary written on May 3, under the moniker “The Sacred Power of Producing Reverberations,” the designer writes: “I will abandon the worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows to regain a new cadence, closer to my expressive call. We will meet just twice a year, to share the chapters of a new story. Irregular, joyful and absolutely free chapters, which will be written blending rules and genres, feeding on new spaces, linguistic codes and communication platforms.”
The post is one of 18 that refer to six letters spanning from March 29 to May 16, presumably written during Michele’s own lockdown.
The coronavirus pandemic has been shaking the industry in more ways than one, as the lockdown in countries around the world has halted production, forced store closures, canceled resort shows and trade events and pushed companies to revisit deliveries. Designers have been reconsidering calendars, show formats and whether there is just too much product out there, as going digital is necessarily a priority for most at the moment — at least until the health emergency effects are behind us.
As reported, Dries Van Noten has spearheaded a petition for a more sensible and sustainable fashion calendar as signatories are hoping to seize on circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic — later deliveries for fall collections due to factory shutdowns in Europe — and make that the new normal. The forum proposes that men’s and women’s fall collections should be merchandised in stores from August to January, with markdowns in January, and spring collections displayed from February to July, with markdowns in July.
Giorgio Armani, Saks Fifth Avenue and Philadelphia retailer Boyds have also been urging a slowdown in the pace of fashion, with deliveries better timed to consumer needs and discounts only at the end of seasons.
Brands and designers have been gradually revealing how they plan to show their collections.
Examples include Saint Laurent, which has decided to drop out of Paris Fashion Week and set its own pace for showing collections for the duration of the year, as the brand pivots to adapt to the coronavirus crisis.
Shortly after the Camera della Moda revealed the launch of a new Milan Digital Fashion Week to be held in July, Armani said his namesake and Emporio Armani men’s and women’s shows will be presented in September here in a format to be defined. He also said the Armani Privé show will be postponed to January 2021 and will be held in Milan and not in Paris.
Ermenegildo Zegna’s artistic director Alessandro Sartori said he will experiment with a “phygital” show in July. As reported, Italy’s Camera Nazionale della Moda said that the spring 2021 men’s shows and presentations slated for June 19 to 23 will run in September during Milan Women’s Fashion Week, which is expected to start on Sept. 22 and end on Sept. 28.